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Slaczka, Andrzej, Stanisaw Krugov, Jan Golonka, Nestor


Oszczypko, and Igor Popadyuk, 2006, Geology and
Hydrocarbon Resources of the Outer Carpathians, Poland,
Slovakia, and Ukraine: General Geology, in J. Golonka
and F. J. Picha, eds., The Carpathians and their foreland:
Geology and hydrocarbon resources: AAPG Memoir 84,
p. 221 258.

Geology and Hydrocarbon Resources of the


Outer Carpathians, Poland, Slovakia, and
Ukraine: General Geology
Andrzej Slaczka
Institute of Geological Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Republic of Poland

Stanisaw Krugov*
Ukrainian State Geological Research Institute, Lviv, Ukraine

Jan Golonka
AGH University of Science and Technology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Republic of Poland

Nestor Oszczypko
Institute of Geological Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Republic of Poland

Igor Popadyuk
Ukrainian State Geological Research Institute, Lviv, Ukraine

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this chapter is to provide the general overview of the stratigraphy and tectonics
of the Polish, Ukrainian, and adjacent parts of the Slovakian Outer Carpathians. The Polish and
Ukrainian Outer Carpathians form the north and northeastern part of the Carpathians that expand
from the Olza River on the PolishCzech border to the UkrainianRomanian border. Traditionally,
the Northern Carpathians are subdivided into an older range, known as the Inner Carpathians, and
the younger ones, known as the Outer Carpathians. These ranges are separated by a narrow,
strongly tectonized belt, the Pieniny Klippen Belt. The Outer Carpathians are made up of a stack of
nappes and thrust sheets showing a different lithostratigraphy and tectonic structures. Generally,
each Outer Carpathian nappe represented separate or partly separate sedimentary subbasin. In
these subbasins, enormous continuous sequence of flysch-type sediments was deposited; their
thickness locally exceeds 6 km (3.7 mi). The sedimentation spanned between the Late Jurassic and
early Miocene. During the folding and overthrusting, sedimentary sequences were uprooted, and
generally, only sediments from the central parts of basins are preserved.
The Outer Carpathian nappes are overthrust on each other and on the North European
platform and its MiocenePaleocene cover. In the western part, overthrust plane is relatively
flat and becomes more and more steep eastward. Boreholes and seismic data indicate a minimal distance of the overthrust of 6080 km (3750 mi).
*Deceased.

Copyright n2006. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists.


DOI:10.1306/985610M843070

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The evolution of the Northern Outer Carpathian Flysch basins shows several tectonostratigraphic stages. The first period (Early JurassicKimmeridgian) began from the incipient
stage of rifting and formation of local basins. The next stage (TithonianEarly Cretaceous) is
characterized by rapid subsidence of local basins where calcareous flysch sedimentation
started. The third period (Late Cretaceousearly Miocene) is characterized by compression
movements, appearance of intensive turbiditic sedimentation, and increased rate of subsidence in the basins.

INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this chapter is to provide the general
overview of the stratigraphy and tectonics of the Outer
Carpathians in Poland, Ukraine, and adjacent Slovakia.
The details concerning petroleum geology will be provided by other chapters in this Memoir by employees
of the Polish Oil and Gas Company and the Ukrainian
State Geological Research teams. These chapters include as follows:


Hydrocarbon resources of the Polish Outer Carpathians reservoir parameters, trap types, and selected
hydrocarbon fields: A stratigraphic review by Dziadzio
et al. (2006b, chapter 8)
Petroleum geology of the Boryslav Pokuttya zone, the
Ukrainian Carpathians by Popadyuk et al. (2006,
chapter 13)
The geology of the Weglowka oil field, Subsilesian
unit, Polish Outer Carpathians by Dziadzio (2006,
chapter 14)
The Ciezkowice sandstone: Examples of basin-floor fanstacking patterns from the main (upper Paleocene to
Eocene) reservoir in the Polish Carpathians by Dziadzio
et al. (2006a, chapter 15)
Reconstruction of petroleum systems based on integrated geochemical and geological investigation: Selected
examples from Middle, Outer Polish Carpathians by
Matyasik and Dziadzio, (2006, chapter 16)

A special chapter also deals with the geochemistry of


the Carpathian source rocks: The origin and habitat of hydrocarbons of the Polish and Ukrainian parts of the Carpathian province by Kotarba and Koltun (2006, chapter 11).

THE POSITION OF THE OUTER CARPATHIANS IN THE


ALPINECARPATHIAN FOLD AND THRUST BELT
The Polish and Ukrainian Outer Carpathians form the
northeastern part of the great arc of mountains, which
stretch more than 1300 km (807 mi) from the Vienna
Forest to the Iron Gate on the Danube (Figure 1). Tra-

ditionally, the Carpathians are subdivided into an


older range, known as the Inner Carpathians, and the
younger ones, known as the Outer Carpathians. From
the point of view of the plate-tectonic evolution of the
basins, the following major elements could be distinguished in the Outer Carpathians and the adjacent
part of the Inner Carpathians.
Inner Carpathian terrane: A continental plate built
of the continental crust of Hercynian (Variscan) age
and Mesozoic Cenozoic sedimentary cover. The Inner
Carpathians form a prolongation of the Northern Calcareous Alps and are related to the Apulia plate (in a
regional sense; Picha, 1996). The uppermost Paleozoic
Mesozoic continental and shallow-marine sedimentary sequences of this plate are folded and thrust into
a series of nappes. They are divided into the Tatric,
Veporic, and Gemeric nappes (Figure 2) that are the
prolongation of the lower, middle, and upper Austroalpine nappes, respectively. The nappes and the
Hercynian basement are unconformably covered by
middle Eocene Oligocene flysch and early middle
Miocene marine and terrestrial (continental) molasses.
Another terrane with the Hercynian basement, known
as the Tisza Dacia, is amalgamated with the Inner
Carpathian terrane. According to Golonka et al. (2000),
the Inner Carpathians, Eastern Alps, and Tisza Dacia
form Alcapa superterrane; according to, e.g., Kovac et al.
(1998), Alcapa and Tisza constitute different plates.
North European platform: Large continental plate
amalgamated during the Precambrian Paleozoic. Proterozoic, Vendian (Cadomian), early Paleozoic (Caledonian), and late Paleozoic (Hercynian) fragments could be
distinguished in the folded and metamorphosed basement of this plate. Beneath the Outer Carpathians, the
sedimentary cover consists of the autochthonous upper
Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic sequences covered
by the allochthonous JurassicNeogene rocks (see Oszczypko et al., 2006).
These allochthonous rocks are uprooted and overthrust onto the southern part of the North European
platform at a distance of at least 60 100 km (37 62 mi)
(Ksiazkiewicz, 1977; Oszczypko and Slaczka, 1985). They
form stacks of nappes and thrust sheets arranged in several tectonic units. In Poland, these allochthonous, mainly

The General Geology of the Outer Carpathians, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine

Figure 1. General overview and distribution of oil and gas in the Circum Carpathian Region of Central Europe.

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SLACZKA ET AL.

Figure 2. Tectonic scheme of the Polish Carpathians.

flysch units are being regarded as the Carpathian Flysch.


Along the frontal Carpathian thrust, a narrow zone of
folded Miocene deposits was developed (Figures 2, 3):
the Zglobice unit in the Polish Carpathians, the Sambir
nappe of the Ukrainian part of the Carpathians, and the
Subcarpathian unit in Romania.
The Penninic realm is a part of the Alpine Tethys
(e.g., Birkenmajer, 1986; Sandulescu, 1988; Oszczypko,
1992; Plasienka, 1999, 2000; Stampfli, 2001; Golonka,
2004; Golonka et al., 2006) that developed as a basin
during the Jurassic between the Inner Carpathian
Eastern Alpine terrane and the North European platform. In the western part, it contains the ophiolitic sequences indicating the truly oceanic crust. In the eastern
part, the ophiolitic sequences are known only as pebbles in the flysch; the basement of the Penninic realm
was partly formed by the attenuated crust. In Poland,
Slovakia, and Ukraine, the Penninic realm is represented by the sedimentary sequences of Jurassic, Cretaceous, Paleogene, and Miocene age belonging to the
Pieniny Klippen Belt and the Magura unit (Golonka
et al., 2003). Some of these sequences have been recently
located in the suture zone between the Inner Carpathian
terrane forming the Pieniny Klippen Belt; other sequences are involved in the allochthonous units covering the North European platform (Magura nappe) or
accreted to the Inner Carpathian terrane. Because of the

evolutionary connotations of the Penninic realm, the


Pieniny Klippen Belt could also be regarded as belonging to the Outer Carpathians (e.g., Ksiazkiewicz,
1977; Picha, 1996). The Czorsztyn submerged ridge
was a part of the Penninic realm dividing the oceanic
basin into two subbasins. The southern subbasin and
the ridge traditionally constitute the Pieniny domain.
Its sequences are involved in the Pieniny Klippen Belt,
whose strongly tectonized structure is about 800 km
(500 mi) long and 1 20 km (0.6 12 mi) wide, which
stretches from Vienna in the west to the Poiana Botizei
(Maramures, northeast Romania) in the east (Figure 1).
The largest part of the northern subbasin forms the
Magura unit, traditionally belonging to the Outer Carpathians. The Pieniny Klippen Belt is separated from
the Magura nappe by the Miocene subvertical strikeslip fault (e.g., Birkenmajer, 1986, 1988).
The Transylvanian domain formed perhaps the extension of the eastern Tethys between the European
platform and Tisza Dacia terrane (Sandulescu, 1988;
Sandulescu and Visarion, 2000). In Romania, it was
truly an oceanic realm as indicated by the existence of
ophiolites. It developed during the Triassic and was
closed during the Cretaceous. In Poland, the presumed
Transylvanian domain sedimentary sequences are represented only by pebbles in the flysch of the Pieniny
Klippen Belt and the Magura unit.

The General Geology of the Outer Carpathians, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine

225

Figure 3. Ukrainian Carpathians tectonic map. Modified after Glushko and Kruglov (1986).
The SeverinMoldavidic realm (Balintoni, 1998), also
known in Romania as the Outer Dacides and the Moldavides (Sandulescu, 1988; Stefanescu et al., 2006), developed in the North European platform as rift and/or
back-arc basin. The Severin Moldavidic basement is
represented by the attenuated crust of the North European plate with perhaps incipient oceanic fragments.
The sedimentary cover is represented by several sequences of Late Jurassicearly Miocene age belonging

recently to Dukla, Silesian, Subsilesian, Zdanice, and


Skole tectonic units in Poland (Figure 2) and Czech Republic (Pescatore and Slaczka, 1984; Zytko et al., 1989;
Stranik et al., 1993; Slaczka and Kaminski, 1998) and
to Marmarosh, Rachiv, Porkulets, Chornohora, Skyba,
and Boryslav Pokuttya (Figure 3) nappes in Ukraine
(Kruglov, 1989; Slaczka, 1996b). The subbasins in the
SeverinMoldavidic are divided by ridges and uplifted
zones. The most prominent one is the Subsilesian bulge

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SLACZKA ET AL.

between Silesian and Skole subbasins. Another ridge


was located between Dukla and Silesian subbasins.
The Subsilesian bulge is connected in the west with
the slope sequences between the epicontinental part
of the North European platform and the Outer Carpathian basins (Silesian and Magura basins). The Severin
Moldavidic basinal realm ends in Moravia, whereas
slope sequences extend further westward. The Severin
part (Severinides, see, e.g., Balintoni, 1998, 2001; or Outer
Dacides, Sandulescu, 1988; Stefanescu et al., 2006) of
the basin is represented in Ukraine by the Kaminnyi
Potik and Rachiv units. This basin was closed during
the Cretaceous. The Moldavic part (Moldavides, see,
e.g., Sandulescu, 1988; Balintoni, 1998; Stefanescu et al.,
2006) was closed during the Neogene.
The Getic Marmarosh ridge (Golonka et al. 2003),
also known as the Median Dacides (Sandulescu, 1988;
Stefanescu et al., 2006), constitutes a fragment of the
North European platform that rifted away during the
opening of the Severin Moldavidic basins. It includes
Precambrian and early Paleozoic (Caledonian) granites and metamorphic rocks, late Paleozoic (Variscan)
metamorphic rocks, as well as the late Paleozoic and
Mesozoic sedimentary cover. The Getic Marmarosh
ridge separated the Severin Moldavidic basin from
the Transylvanian basin. Westward, the similar position has the Silesian ridge (Sandulescu, 1988; Oszczypko, 1992), which separated the Penninic Magura
realm and the Severin Moldavidic realm. The eastern
part of the Getic Marmarosh ridge collided in the
latest Early Late Cretaceous with the Tisza Dacia,
forming several nappes. These nappes also included
part of the CivcinSeverin Moldavidic basins, the
Rachiv and Porkulets units. The western part of the
ridge was reorganized during the Late Cretaceous,
forming the basement of the uplifted Silesian Cordillera, the Fore-Magura basin; a ridge separated Magura
basin and Fore-Magura basin, as well as a marginal
part of the Magura basin.

OUTER CARPATHIAN STRATIGRAPHY


The Outer Carpathians are made up of a stack of
nappes and thrust sheets showing a different lithostratigraphy and tectonic structures (Figures 2, 3). Part
of them can be traced along the whole of the Outer
Carpathians, and a part can be traced only in the Eastern Carpathians. These tectonic units are overthrust
one on the other from the south and built of sediments representing the time span between the Late
Jurassic and the early Miocene (Ksiazkiewicz, 1962,
1977; Bieda et al., 1963; Mahel et al., 1968; Koszarski
and Slaczka, 1976). They correspond to more or less

separated sedimentary basins, and every basin generally displays a different lithostratigraphic development.
During the overthrusting movements, the tectonic units
became uprooted, and generally, only central parts of
the basins are preserved.
The western and northern parts of the Outer Carpathians (Figure 4) consist of four main longitudinal
units (basins): the Magura, Dukla Fore-Magura, Silesian, and Skole belonging to two realms, the Penninic
and Severin Moldavidic, originally divided by the Silesian ridge (Cordillera). The other ridges and swells
existed in the realms; the most distinctive were the
Subsilesian swell and Andrychow ridge (Ksiazkiewicz,
1962). The Magura, Dukla, Silesian, and Skole sedimentary units (basins) extend eastward to the Ukrainian part of the Outer Carpathians. Several units, e.g.,
Marmarosh, Rachiv, Porkulets, Chornohora, Skyba
(Skole), and BoryslavPokuttya units (Subbasin) in the
SeverinMoldavidic realm, extend from Ukraine southeastward and southward to Romania; their correlation
with the Western Carpathian units still remains somewhat uncertain and disputable. The relationship between the Magura unit and the Pieniny Klippen Belt in
Ukraine and the adjacent part of Romania also remains
speculative. Generally, the Magura unit is located between the Pieniny Klippen Belt (zone) and the Marmarosh zone (e.g., Sandulescu et al., 1981; Sandulescu,
1988; Zytko, 1999; Golonka et al., 2003); however, according to Kruglov (2001), fragments of the Magura
nappe could also exist north from the Marmarosh zone.
In the Carpathian basins, enormous, continuous sequences of flysch were deposited mainly by different
turbidity currents. The thickness of deposits locally
exceeds 10 km (6.2 mi). These sediments were divided
on a lithological basis into many formations with
separate names. Commonly, the same formation has a
different name in adjacent countries (Bieda et al., 1963;
Geroch et al., 1967; Mahel et al., 1968; Slaczka, 1980;
Kruglov, 1989, 2001; Pasternak, 1989; Golonka and Lewandowski, 2003). The source areas for the clastic material
were situated on the outer and inner margin as well as
on the intrabasinal ridges. The sedimentary sequences
display lateral and vertical variations in the thickness
and lithofacies, reflecting changes in subsidence and
sedimentation rates and shifting of source areas.
Within the sedimentary sequences, generally, three
main megastages of development exist, connected with
the global events: an early stage from Jurassic to Albian, characterized by development of black shales;
the second stage (Cenomanian Eocene) characterized
by the occurrence of red and variegated shales; and
the final stage (Oligoceneearly Miocene), when brown
bituminous shales appeared and variegated shales
disappeared.

The General Geology of the Outer Carpathians, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine

227

Figure 4. Lithology and chronostratigraphy of the Polish Outer Carpathians.

PENNINIC REALM
The Magura Nappe
The Magura nappe is the largest tectonic unit of the
Western Carpathians and is linked with the Rhenodanubian flysch of the Eastern Alps. During the overthrust movements, the Magura nappe has been completely uprooted from its substratum along the ductile
Upper Cretaceous rocks. The TithonianBarremian limestones and marls from the Kurovice Klippe are regarded as the basal portion of the marginal part of
the Magura nappe in southern Moravia. More or less
complete sections of this unit are known only from
that part of the basin, which was incorporated into the
Pieniny Klippen Belt (i.e., the Grajcarek, Birkenmajer,
1977; or Hulina unit, Burtan et al., 1981; Golonka and
Sikora, 1981; Golonka and Raczkowski, 1984; see also
Birkenmajer and Oszczypko, 1989). This succession

is represented by Toarcian Aalenian black shales,


BathonianOxfordian radiolarites, Kimmeridgian limestones (Ammonitico rosso), TithonianBarremian cherty
limestones, Aptian spotty shales, AlbianCenomanian
black flysch, and Cenomanian green radiolarian shales
(Birkenmajer, 1977). A single, JurassicEarly Cretaceous
Klippe of Hulina Grajcarek type is also known from
the Krynica unit (Golonka and Sikora, 1981).
The Albian Cenomanian spotty shales remain in
the southern margin of the Mszana Dolna tectonic
window (Birkenmajer and Oszczypko, 1989). More recently, Hauterivian Albian deposits have been recognized in a few localities in southern Moravia (Svabenicka et al., 1997). On the basis of facial differentiation
in the Paleogene deposits, the Magura nappe in Poland, Slovakia, and Czech Republic (Moravia) has been
subdivided into four facies-tectonic subunits: the Krynica, Bystrica (Nowy Sacz), Raca, and Siary (Figure 1,
see also Koszarski et al., 1974). Additionally, in the

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SLACZKA ET AL.

west Slovakia segments of the Magura nappe, the


Biele Karpaty unit has been distinguished.
The Cretaceous Paleogene deposits of the Magura
nappe may be subdivided into three turbidites complexes
(see Oszczypko, 1992): Upper Cretaceous Paleocene,
lower upper Eocene, and upper Eocene Oligocene.
Each of them begins with pelitic basinal deposits (variegated shales) that pass into thin- and medium-bedded
turbidites with intercalations of allodapic limestones
and marls, thick-bedded deposits, and finally, into thinbedded turbidites. The Upper Cretaceous deposits begin
with Cenomanian Turonian, variegated, hemipelagic
mudstones, with intercalations of thin-bedded turbidites (Malinowa Shale Formation). The thickness of the
formation ranges from 70 m (230 ft) in the Raca subunit
(Sikora, 1970) to as much as 200 m (660 ft) in the Krynica subunit (Birkenmajer and Oszczypko, 1989; Oszczypko et al., 1990). In the Raca and Bystrica subunits,
sedimentation of variegated clays was finished at the
SantonianCampanian boundary, whereas in the Krynica subunit, it still existed in the Maastrichtian. The
Malinowa Formation passes upward into thin-bedded
turbidites with sporadic intercalations of thick-bedded
sandstones. In the Grajcarek Hulina unit, variegated
shales pass upward into coarse-grained sandstones
and exotic conglomerates (Burtan et al., 1984) of the
Jarmuta Formation (Maastrichtian Paleocene; see Birkenmajer and Oszczypko, 1989). This formation, as much
as 400 m (1300 ft) thick, passes upward into medium- to
thick-bedded calcareous turbidites of the Szczawnica
Formation (Paleocenelower Eocene), whose thickness
also reaches 400 m (1300 ft). In the Krynica subunit, the
thickness of the Jarmuta Formation reaches at least a few
dozen meters (Oszczypko et al., 1990), whereas the
thickness of the Szczawnica Formation oscillates about
300 400 m (1000 1300 ft) (Oszczypko et al., 1990,
1999a). In the more northern subunits of the Magura
nappe, the Malinowa Formation is followed up in the
section by thin- to medium-bedded turbidites of as
much as 50 m (160 ft) in thickness, containing sometimes numerous 5 7- to 30-cm (2 3- to 12-in.)-thick
intercalations of turbiditic limestones (Kanina beds;
see Cieszkowski et al., 1989). These deposits pass upward into thick-bedded sandstones and conglomerates, which are as much as 100 400 m (330 1300 ft)
thick (Szczawina sandstones) of the Maastrichtian
Paleocene age. The youngest unit of the complex, 100
200 m (330 660 ft) thick, is composed of medium- to
thick-bedded turbidites of Paleocene age (Ropianka
beds; see Malata et al., 1996), which are an equivalent of
the Szczawnica Formation of the Krynica subunit.
The Ropianka beds are overlain by the lower to middle Eocene variegated, noncalcareous shales of Labowa
Formation (Oszczypko, 1991). The thickness of this for-

mation ranges from a few meters in the northern part of


the Krynica subunit to as much as 130 m (430 ft) in the
Siary subunit (see Sikora, 1970; Oszczypko, 1973, 1991).
This formation represents the basinal plane facies, deposited below calcite compensation depth (CCD) (Oszczypko, 1991; Malata, 2001). The variegated shales pass
upward into thin-bedded turbidites of the Zarzecze,
Beloveza, and Hieroglyphic formations (Oszczypko,
1991; Oszczypko et al., 1999a). The thickness of these
deposits varies from 500 to 600 m (1640 to 2000 ft) in the
Krynica subunit (Zarzecze Formation), 350 m (1100 ft)
in the Bystrica subunit (Beloveza Formation), and 200 m
(660 ft) in the Raca subunit (Hieroglyphic beds).
In the Bystrica Subunit, the Beloveza Formation is
overlain by thin- to medium-bedded turbidites with
intercalations of the Lacko-type marls. In the Krynica,
Bystrica, and Raca subunits, the youngest deposits of
the Eocene complex belong to the Magura Formation, which is of lower to upper EoceneOligocene age.
Thickness of this formation reached 12001400 m (4000
4600 ft) in the Krynica subunit, 5002000 m (16006600 ft)
in the Bystrica, and 1000 m (3300 ft) in the Raca subunit
(Birkenmajer and Oszczypko, 1989; Oszczypko, 1999).
The Magura Formation is represented by the thickbedded turbidites and fluxoturbidites. The Magura
Formation is locally overlain by the Globigerina marls
(upper Eocene lower Oligocene), Menilite shales, and
the Malcov Formation (late Oligocene). In the northernmost part of the Magura nappe (Siary subunit), middle
upper Eocene variegated shales pass upward into the
marls and thin-bedded flysch of the Zembrzyce beds,
which contain a foraminiferal horizon of Globigerina
marls (upper Eocene lower Oligocene), thick-bedded
glauconitic sandstones (Watkowa Sandstones) of the
upper Eocene lower Oligocene age, and finally, marls
with intercalations of glauconitic sandstones (Budzow
beds, Oligocene; see Oszczypko-Clowes, 2001). Traditionally, the Oligocene Malcov Formation was regarded
as the youngest strata of the Magura nappe (OszczypkoClowes, 1998). However, in the vicinity of Nowy Sacz,
the early Miocene Zawada Formation, belonging to the
Magura nappe, has recently been discovered (Oszczypko et al., 1999b; Oszczypko-Clowes, 2001; Oszczypko and Oszczypko-Clowes, 2002). This formation
reaches at least 450 m (1470 ft).
The Biele Karpaty unit was traditionally regarded
as an equivalent of the Oravska Magura Krynica subunit, which is in a similar tectonic position. Recently,
Potfaj (1993) arranged the Biele Karpaty unit into Hluk
and Vlara successions (groups). The Hluk succession,
extended mostly in the southwest part of the Biele
Karpaty Mountains, consists of several lithostratigraphic units. The Hluk Formation [Barremian(?)
Aptian], as much as 120 m (400 ft) thick, is represented

The General Geology of the Outer Carpathians, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine

by dark-gray, black-greenish shales and turbiditic limestones at the top. This formation passes upward into the
Gbely (Kaumberg) Formation [Albian(?)Cenomanian
Turonian], composed of variegated claystones and marls
about 200 m (660 ft) thick. Higher up in sequence occurs
the Puchov Formation [Coniacian(?) Campanian
Maastrichtian], represented by 100 m (330 ft) of red and
green shaly marls. These marls are interfingered with
a 10-m (33-ft)-thick packet of gray-brown limy claystones, marls, and limestones (Antoninek Member,
Campanian). The siciliclastic flysch begins with the
Svodnice Formation (Paleoceneearly Eocene), a 700-m
(2300-ft)-thick complex of medium-bedded turbidites
with thick intercalations of gray and brown-gray calcareous claystones. The upper part of the formation
(Bzova Member, Paleocene Eocene) contains a 600-m
(2000-ft)-thick complex of thick-bedded, fine- to mediumgrained sandstones, which resemble the Magura
sandstones of the Krynica (Orava) subunit. Toward the
north, the Svodnice Formation is replaced by thinbedded, calcareous turbidites, about 600 m (2000 ft)
thick (Nivnice Formation, late Paleocene), with two
horizons of variegated shales at the base. This formation is overlain by the Kuzetov Formation (latest
Paleocene to early Eocene), which is 250 m (800 ft)
thick, as represented by thick horizons of the variegated shales and calcareous claystones and sandstone
intercalations.
The Kaumberg (Lopenik) Formation (Campanian
Maastrichtian) belongs to the Vlara Group. It is built
of thick sandy flysch with variegated claystones and
marls at the base. In the upper part of the formation,
two members were distinguished by Potfaj (1993). The
Javorina Member (late Campanian Maastrichtian)
consists of thin-bedded turbidites with lenses of microconglomerates. The muscovite sandstones are
composed of quartz, metamorphic rocks, and a large
amount of carbonate clasts. The thickness of this member is about 600 m (2000 ft). The Drietomica Member
(Maastrichtian) is characterized by the domination of
thick-bedded, fine- to coarse-grained sandstones and
microconglomerates of mixed carbonate-siliciclastic
composition. The estimated thickness of this member
is 200 m (660 ft). The Rajkovec beds [Paleocene early
Eocene(?)] are predominantly a sandstone-flysch sequence with thin intercalations of claystones and
limy mudstones. The sandstones are fine to medium
grained and of mixed carbonate-siliciclastic composition. The maximum thickness of the Rajkovec Member is as much as 500 m (1600 ft). The youngest deposits
of the Vlara succession belong to the Chabova beds
(late Paleocene early Eocene), developed as thick beds
of medium- to coarse-grained siliciclastic sandstones
with carbonate clasts.

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THE GETICMARMAROSH UNITS


The Marmarosh Unit
The Marmarosh unit is located in the Transcarpathian
Ukraine next to the Romanian border (Figures 3, 5).
The development of this unit differs from the other
Outer Carpathian flysch units, and as was mentioned
above, the exact position of this unit is disputable; it is
placed adjacent to Pieniny Klippen Belt or north to the
Magura unit. It consists of two parts: the Marmarosh
Klippen zone (internal) and the Marmarosh crystalline massif (external).
The Marmarosh Klippen zone (Figures 3, 5) is situated southwest and west from the Marmarosh Massif.
It is divided into two subzones: the external Vezhany
subzone, containing olistolithes (Soimul olistostrome),
and the internal Monastyrets subzone, built mainly by
flysch. The giant blocks (as much as 1 km [0.62 mi]),
olistolithes, and olistoplakes (Kruglov, 1965) occur in
the marginal part of the Vezhany subzone (Soimul
olistostrome). They are built of Paleozoic and Proterozoic schists and gneisses, Paleozoic, Triassic, Jurassic,
and Barremian Aptian dolomites and limestones of
age, and Permian Triassic quarzitic sandstones and
conglomerates. The blocks of serpentinites, diabases,
gabbro-diabases, pebbles and boulders of granites,
quartz porphyries, and granitoids are also numerous
there. The olistostromes pass upward into polimiktic
conglomerates with a thickness of about 1000 m (3300 ft)
covered by dark gray mudstones intercalated by thin
sandstones (Soimul beds; Aptian Albian). Complexes
of thick sandstones are developed only locally. The
Soimul beds pass upward into red marls (Puchov beds;
Turonian Campanian) and thin-bedded sandstones
with green-gray and sparse red shales, correlated by
Kruglov (1965, 1969) with Jarmuta beds (Maastrichtian) known from the Pieniny Klippen Belt in Poland
and Slovakia. Paleogene sediments start with conglomerates and thick-bedded sandstones (Metovo beds)
covered by thick-bedded marls of the Eocene. They
pass into Oligocene black marls and shale (Dusina
Beds) and thick-bedded gray sandstones. In the inner
Monastyrets subzone, the lithostratigraphic profile
starts with Paleogene variegated shales intercalated
with thin-bedded and sporadically bedded sandstones
(Shopurka beds) as much as 1000 m (3300 ft) thick.
They are covered by thick-bedded sandstones (Dragov
beds). According to Sandulescu et al. (1981), this sequence represents the southeast prolongation of the
Magura unit.
The Marmarosh Massif is built by complex, dislocated, mesozonally metamorphosed RipheanVendian
rocks and by sedimentary, volcanic, and epizonally

230

SLACZKA ET AL.

Figure 5. Lithology and chronostratigraphy of the internal part of the Ukrainian Carpathians.

metamorphosed Carboniferous, Triassic, and Jurassic


formations. The Cretaceous conglomerates, organogenic limestones, and marls of age discordantly overlie
older rocks. According to Romanian geologists, the
Marmarosh Massif belongs to the large Getic realm
(e.g., Sandulescu, 1988; Balintoni, 1998, 2001; Golonka
et al., 2003) described above as the Getic Marmarosh
ridge. The metamorphic basement sequences of this
realm are thrust over the flysch sequences of the Outer Dacides (Severinides). The nappe character of the
Ukrainian part of the Getic Marmarosh ridge was
described in detail by Kropotkin (1991).

OUTER DACIDESSEVERINIDES
The Kaminnyi Potik Unit
In the frontal part of the Marmarosh Massif, a tectonic
thrust fold (Glushko and Kruglov, 1986) is present
that is composed of dark, thin-bedded limestones,
black shales, sandstones, and conglomerates (Kaminnyi

Potik beds; TithonianValanginian) containing the Upper Jurassic effusives of the basic type. It belongs probably to the basins of the Outer Dacides Severinides and
is the prolongation of the Black Flysch unit of the Romanian Carpathians.

Rachiv Unit
The Rachiv unit is represented mainly by the Valanginian
Hauterivian deposits (Rachiv beds) 1000 m (3300 ft)
thick. The lower part is represented by black shales,
calcareous thin- and medium-bedded turbiditic sandstones, and limestones passing upward into the complex that contains an intercalation of thick-bedded
sandstones and conglomerates. Exotic blocks of Mesozoic limestones and diabases are also present. The
whole sequence is terminated by black shales and thinbedded calcareous sandstones. The uppermost part can
also represent the Barremian. The Rachiv unit continues southward into the Cuk digitation of the Ceahlau nappe in the Romanian Carpathians containing
basic volcanites.

The General Geology of the Outer Carpathians, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine

231

Porkulets Unit
The oldest, Early Cretaceous deposits of the Porkulets
unit (Figures 3, 5) are represented by gray shales,
marly shales, thin- to thick-bedded laminated sandstones (Bila Tisza beds; Barremian Albian, more than
1000 m [3300 ft] thick), and lenses of conglomerates
that contain blocks of metamorphic and volcanic rocks
(Bogdan and Bronka conglomerates). The Bila Tisza
beds are locally replaced by massive, thick-bedded
sandstones, more than 500 m (1600 ft) thick (Burkut
conglomerates). The Porkulets beds, about 50 300 m
(160 1000 ft) thick, are represented by uppermost Albian, Cenomanian, and Turonian red, green, and brown
shales and marls intercalated by thin- and mediumbedded sandstones. They pass upward into a series of
gray, medium-bedded sandstones, shales, and marls
[Jalowychora beds; Coniacian, Santonian, Campanian(?)].
Their thickness increases to as much as 600 m (2000 ft)
toward the northwest. In this area, they are known as
lower Berezna beds. Higher up, a thick (as much as
1500 m [5000 ft]) complex of thick-bedded sandstones
is present, representing the time span from late
Campanian up to middle Eocene (Chornogolova beds).
The higher part of the middle Eocene and upper Eocene is developed as green-gray and red shales (Skalska beds) with intercalations of Sol beds; as much as
1000 m (3300 ft), whereas the Oligocene is developed as
black and yellowish marls and black shales (Dusina
beds; as much as 700 m [2300 ft]) locally with intercalations of cherts and sandstones (Turica beds). The
higher part of the Oligocene rocks is represented by a
complex of thick-bedded sandstones as much as 1000 m
(3300 ft) thick (Malavyzna beds). Toward the southeast,
the Porkulets unit continues into the Bodoc digitation
of the Ceahlau unit in Romania.

Dukla Unit
The oldest, Early Cretaceous sediments are known only
from the eastern part of the Dukla unit (Figures 46).
They are represented by black shales, siliceous mudstones, and sandstones with intercalations of cherts
and siderites (lower Shypot beds; Barremian Aptian)
passing upward into a series of siliceous sandstones
and black shales (upper Shypot beds; Albian). In the
Cenomanian, green and red shales with subordinate
thin turbidites started to develop (lower Yalovetz beds).
The Senonian sequence commences (Figure 6) with a
900-m (2900-ft) complex of dark shales and mediumbedded, fine-grained, calcareous sandstones (lower
Berezna beds in Ukraine). This lithofacies, known in
the southern part of the Dukla unit as Lupkow beds
(CampanianMaastrichtian and CampanianPaleocene),

Figure 6. Comparative lithostratigraphic profiles of the

p
Dukla and Grybow units. P kr
3 = Krosno beds; P 3 = transition
me
zone between Krosno and Menilite beds; P 3 = Menilite
shales; r = cherts; P c3 = Cergowa sandstones; P s3 = Jawornik
marls; Pmsz
= Mszanka sandstones; P gl
3
2 = Globigerina marls;
h
P 2 = Hieroglyphic beds; ps = red and green shales; P m
1 =
Majdan beds; PK c2 = Inoceramian beds; P c1 = Cisna beds;
K l2 = Cisna beds.

represents the oldest sediment of the Dukla unit in


Poland and Slovakia (Lesko and Samuel, 1968; Slaczka,
1971; Korab and Durkovic, 1978). Uppermost Cretaceous and Paleocene deposits in almost the entire unit
are represented by thick-bedded calcareous, coarsegrained, feldspathic sandstones and/or fine-grained,
micaceous sandstones intercalated with dark clay
shales (Cisna beds or upper Berezna beds in Ukraine,
mainly Paleocene). This complex disappears toward
the west and toward the north (data from Jasliska 2
borehole, southeast from Krosno). In the western part
of the unit, between villages of Cisna and Jasliska,
black shales and dark siliceous sandstones (Majdan

232

SLACZKA ET AL.

beds; Paleocene) cover the Cisna beds. Locally, they


contain the intercalation of thick-bedded sandstone
complexes (Welka Berezna in Slovakia, Ljuta beds in
Ukraine). Sometimes, these thick-bedded sandstones
dominate. Starting from the youngest Paleocene, a
striking change of sedimentation appears. The Eocene
deposits are developed as a complex of green shales,
medium to thin bedded, fine and medium grained, as
much as 1000 m (3300 ft) thick (Hieroglyphic beds in
Polish, sub-Menilite beds in Slovakian, and Strichava
beds in the Ukraine parts of the Dukla unit) with intercalations of red shales (Sol and Vyshka beds in
Ukraine). Locally, intercalations of thick-bedded sandstone lenses exist (as much as 200 m [660 ft]) (Przybyszow sandstones in Poland and Stavne beds in
Ukraine). The upper Eocene Hieroglyphic type of sediments passes upward into the green shales and higher
up into the Globigerina marls. At the beginning of the
Oligocene, dark bituminous sediments started to develop in the Dukla unit as well as in the northern units.
These sediments are represented by dark brown shales
(Menilite shales) with horizons of cherts. Within these
shales, several lithological members have developed.
In the lowermost part, a lenticular complex (as much as
250 m [820 ft]) of thick-bedded, coarse-grained, or conglomeratic sandstones (Mszanka sandstones) is present; higher up, the complex-brown siliceous marls
(Jawornik marls) and a thick complex (as much as 300 m
[1000 ft]) of thick-bedded, medium-grained, calcareous
sandstones intercalated by gray calcareous shales are
present (Cergowa sandstones; Slaczka and Unrug, 1976).
Toward the south, the sandstone complex is replaced
by gray marly shales and thin-bedded, calcareous,
laminated sandstones, calcareous shales, and subsequently replaced by a complex composed predominantly of shales. The dark Menilite shales pass gradually
upward into a 1000-m (3300-ft) series of calcareous, thinbedded, fine-grained sandstones and gray calcareous
shales (Krosno beds; Oligocene), which terminate the
sequence of the Dukla unit.

Fore-Magura Unit Sensu Stricto


This unit is known only from the western part of the
Polish Carpathians in front of the Magura unit (Burtan,
1968; Golonka, 1981). The sequence commences with
the Upper Cretaceous thick-bedded sandstones, which
contain intercalations of green and gray shales. The
lower and middle Eocene is developed as argillaceous
variegated shales, locally with variegated marls, and
the upper Eocene is developed as green shales. The
Oligocene deposits are characterized by the occurrence
of thick-bedded, gray, micaceous, and calcareous sandstones passing upward into gray, marly shales with
subordinated thin, laminated micaceous sandstones
(Krosno beds).

ObidowaSlopnice Unit
This unit (Figure 7) is situated below the Magura nappe
and is recognized only from the boreholes (Slopnice
and Obidowa areas) (Cieszkowski et al., 1985). It shows
a resemblance to the Dukla and Zboj units and
probably represents its western equivalent. The oldest
sediments of the Obidowa Slopnice unit represent the
Upper Cretaceous and are developed as thick-bedded,
coarse-grained sandstones (1000 m [3300 ft] thick)
showing similarity to a part of the Inoceramian beds in
the Dukla unit. They pass upward into a complex with
pebbly mudstones (Obidowa beds), covered again by
thick-bedded sandstones (70 m [230 ft] thick) that
belong to the Paleocene. The Eocene is developed mainly
as green-gray shales and thin sandstones similar to those
in the other Fore-Magura units. Intercalations of black
shales, thick-bedded conglomerates, and sandstones
reaching 700 m (2300 ft) (Rdzawka beds) occur in the
upper Eocene deposits. The Eocene sequence is terminated by dark, black, calcareous mudstones and
micaceous sandstones that show similarity to some

Fore-Magura Group of Units


In the Western Carpathians, north from the Magura
unit, several units are characterized by the occurrence
of the Upper Cretaceous Paleocene sediments similar
to those of the Magura unit and the Oligocene deposits
similar to deposits from the Silesian unit. From the west,
these are the Fore-Magura sensu stricto, Obidowa
Slopnice, Jaslo, and Grybow units. The relation between these units is not clear, but it is supposed that the
Grybow unit was located in the more internal position
than the Dukla unit or represents a prolongation of the
southern part of the Dukla unit.

Figure 7. Lithostratigraphic profile of the Obidowa Slopnice


unit. Olc = Cergowa beds (Oligocene); Er = Rdzawka beds
(late Eocene); Eh = Hieroglyphic beds (Eocene); pg Pc = thickbedded sandstones (Paleocene); Crsob = Obidowa beds
(Late Cretaceous); r = cherts.

The General Geology of the Outer Carpathians, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine

Oligocene deposits from the Dukla unit. This unit is


correlated with the sediments found in Zboj 1 borehole
near the Slovakian Ukrainian border. That suggests a
rather great extension of the Obidowa Slopnice lithofacies and its position in front of the Dukla Grybow
units.

Grybow Unit
The Grybow unit (Figure 6) represents a western prolongation of the Dukla unit and is only known from
the tectonic windows in the Magura nappe (Kozikowski,
1956; Sikora, 1970) and also from the boreholes. The
sequence commences with the Eocene sediments that
are developed as green, gray, and black shales, intercalated by thin- and medium-bedded sandstones (Hieroglyphic beds). The Eocene sequence terminates the
Globigerina marls in a similar way as in other external
units of the Outer Carpathians. The Oligocene is developed as gray marls with sporadic intercalations of
sandstones (sub-Grybow marls, about 150 m [500 ft]
thick). They are covered by black, hard shales with
horizons of black hornstones at the top (Grybow shales,
about 200 m [660 ft] thick). The youngest sediments are
represented by gray, calcareous, thin- and mediumbedded sandstones with gray calcareous shales that
prevail toward the top (Cergowa beds; as much as 400 m
[1300 ft] thick). Toward the east, the Grybow unit passes
probably into the inner part of the Dukla unit, and its
prolongation can be the Porkulets unit. Both of them
show similarity in the development of the Oligocene
sediments.

Jaslo Unit
This unit, lately delimited in the Harklowa peninsula
of the Magura nappe (Koszarski and Koszarski, 1985),
is represented by Eocene variegated and green-brown
shales covered by greenish gray marly shales with
intercalations of sandstones (Dulabka beds; Eocene
Oligocene). The higher part of the Oligocene is developed as brownish, commonly siliceous shales followed
by grayish marly shales and sandstones (Krosno beds).
The occurrence of olistostromes is very typical, and
some geologists (L. Jankowski, 2003, personal communication) state that all deposits of the Jaslo unit represent
olistostromes in front of the Magura nappe.

Zboj Unit
The Zboj unit was found in borehole Zboj 1 at the
depth of 3800 5002 m (12,500 16,410 ft) in Eastern Slovakia near the Ukrainian border below the
Dukla unit (Korab and Durkovic, 1978). Mainly massive,

233

homogenous, arkosic sandstones that are strongly siliceous represent this unit. Subordinately, complexes of
greenish shales with thin-bedded sandstones and intercalations of mudstones with slump structures are
present. These deposits, called Zboj beds, represent
the upper Eocene and probably also the Oligocene.
The possibility cannot be excluded that they represent the innermost part of the Silesian unit.

Chornohora Unit
The Chornohora unit (Figures 3, 5) is situated in the
southeast part of the Ukrainian Carpathians and disappears toward the northwest. It can be correlated
with the Audia zone in the Romanian Carpathians. Its
situation outside the Dukla unit and the development
of the Lower Cretaceous imply that the Chornohora
unit can represent the prolongation of the inner part
of the Silesian unit (Slaczka, 1959). However, according
to one of the authors of this chapter (Kruglov), it can
also form a prolongation of the Dukla unit. The Chornohora unit is divided in two subunits: the Skupiv subzone
in the north and the Yalovychor, or the Hoverla, subzone
in the south. This division is based on some differences
in the development of the Late Cretaceous sediments.
The oldest sediments (Barremian Aptian) are represented by black, calcareous shales with siderites, fucoid marls, and thin-bedded sandstones (lower Shipot
beds; as much as 300 m [1000 ft]) passing upward into
series to as much as 200 m (660 ft) of dark, quartzitic
sandstones with black shales (upper Shipot beds of
Albian age). The Cenomanian Turonian is developed,
similarly to other Carpathian areas, as green and red
shales, with thin sandstones and red marls (Porkulets
beds; as much as 200 m [660 ft]). In the lower part of this
sequence, intercalations of black shales, radiolarites,
and siderites are present. The variegated sediments
pass upward into gray shales, marls, and sandstones of
Coniacian Santonian age (Yalovychor beds; as much
as 400 m [1300 ft]). The late Senonian is characterized in
the Skupiv subzone by medium-bedded, gray sandstones
and shales (Skupiv beds; as much as 500 m [1600 ft])
and in the Yalovychor Hoverla subzone by a complex
as much as 1000 m (3300 ft) of very thick- to thin-bedded
sandstones and gray shales (Chornohora beds) that
terminate the whole sequence of this subzone. The
younger sediments are known only from the Skupiv
subzone. Paleoceneearly Eocene thin- to thick-bedded
sandstones, limestones, and gray-green and red shales
(Hniletz beds, about 400 m [1300 ft] thick) are present,
covered by middle Eocene massive micaceous sandstones (Topilchany beds; as much as 250 m [800 ft]
thick) and late Eocene thin- to medium-bedded sandstones and variegated shales (Probijeny beds; as much

234

SLACZKA ET AL.

as 350 m [1150 ft]). The sedimentary sequence terminates by the Oligocene dark brown shales (Menilite
beds). Recently, olistostrome formations of insignificant
thickness were discovered in front of the Chornohora
nappe. They are being compared with the Miocene
facies of Slon in the Vinecisu strata in the Romanian
Carpathians. This formation is characterized by the
wide development of variegated, red rocks.

Silesian Unit
The oldest sediments of the Silesian (Figures 4, 8) are
known only in the Moravia and Silesia areas in the Western Carpathians (see Picha et al., 2006). They are represented by the lower Tithonian dark gray, calcareous
mudstones (lower Cieszyn shales) that began the euxinic
cycle that lasted without major interruption until the
Albian. Some of these mudstones represent slump deposits. The mudstones pass upward into turbiditic
limestones and marls (Cieszyn limestones; Tithonian
Berriasian; as much as 200 m [660 ft] thick). The material of the detritic limestones was derived from the
adjacent shallow-water, calcareous platforms, mainly
from the north. The younger, ValanginianHauterivian
dark gray, black calcareous shales with intercalations
of dark, thin- and medium-bedded calcareous sandstones (upper Cieszyn beds; as much as 300 m [1000 ft]
thick) are known from the whole Silesian unit. They
generally pass into Barremian Aptian black shales
(Verovice shales; as much as 300 m [1000 ft]). During
the Hauterivian and Barremian, several complexes (as
much as 200 m [660 ft] thick) of sandstones and conglomerates have developed (Grodziszcze sandstones).
During the late Tithonian and Early Cretaceous, the
opening of the western part of the Silesian basin alkaline magma (teschenites association rocks) intruded the
flysch deposits (Lucinska-Anczkiewicz et al., 2000). The
black shale turbiditic sedimentation (Lgota beds; as
much as 450 m [1500 ft]) developed in the Silesian basin in the beginning of the Albian and lasted during
the whole Albian. It started with thick-bedded, coarsegrained sandstones and conglomerates that passed upward into thin- and medium-bedded, quarzitic sandstones intercalated by black, greenish shales. Locally,
especially in the inner part of the Silesian basin, the
Lgota beds are entirely developed as thin-bedded
facies. North from Sanok, Lgota beds are replaced by
fine-grained, light gray sandstones with sponge needles (Gaize beds, 150 m [500 ft] thick). At the beginning of the Cenomanian, slow and uniform sedimentation occurred, and green shales, with an intercalation
of black shales and radiolarites, developed. Similar facies also developed in other parts of the Outer Carpathian flysch basin. During the CenomanianTuronian,

the green shales and radiolarites passed upward to red


and variegated shales. During the early part of the Late
Cretaceous, a supply of clastic material commenced.
The uppermost Turonian and the lower Senonian are
represented by a very thick flysch series of Godula
beds (approximately 2000 m [6600 ft] thick) developed as thick- and thin-bedded sandstones intercalated by green shales. The Godula beds occur mainly
in the inner zone of the western and central parts of
the Silesian unit. Toward the north and east, they are
replaced laterally by variegated shales (Godula shales).
The Godula beds are covered by another sandy complex, the Istebna beds (upper Senonian Paleocene),
which reaches 1700 m (5600 ft) locally. It is represented
in the lower part by noncalcareous, coarse-grained,
thick-bedded fluxoturbidites and conglomerates with
subordinate intercalations of gray shales. The upper
part is developed as a complex of slightly calcareous,
thick-bedded, and coarse-grained conglomerates and
sandstones covered by dark gray shales reaching 200 m
(660 ft). These lithofacies are known from Moravia up
to the Bieszczady Mountains in the east, where they
were found in deep boreholes. The Paleocene Eocene
deposits of the Silesian unit are characterized by the
occurrence, in the lower part, of a thick complex that
attains 500 m (1600 ft) of thick-bedded fluxoturbidites
and conglomerates in the form of elongated lenses
more than 200 m (660 ft) thick (Ciezkowice sandstones)
with a thin intercalation of red shales. The middle and
upper Eocene consist principally of alternating green
gray shales and thin-bedded sandstones (Hieroglyphic
beds) that pass upward into green shales and Globigerina
marls. Only in the southeast part of the Silesian unit
is the upper Eocene developed as thick-bedded sandstones (Mszanka beds). Near the Roznow Lake, the Eocene deposits are more sandy and could be regarded as a
separate unit, the Michalczowa unit (Cieszkowski, 1992).
During the early Oligocene, the sedimentation of
brown, generally bituminous shales started that display horizons of cherts (Menilite shales, 200 400 m
[660 1300 ft]). Locally in the southern area, the shales
are replaced by thick-bedded sandstones (Magdalena
sandstones) or partly replaced by thick-bedded calcareous sandstones (Cergowa sandstones). The Menilitic shales pass upward into the Krosno beds of the
Oligocene early Miocene age. They are developed in
the lower part as thick- and medium-bedded, calcareous sandstones that pass upward into a complex of
medium- to thin-bedded sandstones alternating with
gray marly shales and covered by a complex of gray
marly shales with subordinate thin-bedded sandstones. These lithofacies are diachronous across the
Silesian unit (Jucha and Kotlarczyk, 1961; Koszarski
and Zytko, 1961); in the northeastern part of this unit,

The General Geology of the Outer Carpathians, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine

235

Figure 8. Comparative lithostratigraphic profiles of the Silesian


unit from west to east. Olk =
Krosno beds; Olme = Menilite
beds; Olmg = Magdalena sandstones; gl = Globigerina marls;
Eh = Hieroglyphic beds; Ec =
Ciezkowice sandstones; ps =
variegated shales; lPc is = upper
Istebna shales; pgPcis = upper
Istebna sandstones; lCr3Pcis =
lower Istebna shales; pgCr2is =
lower Istebna sandstones; Cr2g =
Godula beds; Crg3 = upper Godula beds; Crg2 = middle Godula
beds; Crg1-cl = lower Godula
beds and white marls; peCr2 =
red shales (Godula shales); rCr =
cherts; Cral.l = Lgota beds; Crbaapw = Verovice shales; Crhgr =
Grodziszcze sandstones; Crwhc =
upper Cieszyn shales; J3Crwc =
Cieszyn limestones; J3c = lower
Cieszyn shales.

236

SLACZKA ET AL.

they also represent the upper Miocene. However, in


the inner part of the Silesian unit, in front of the Magura
nappe, the Krosno beds also pass into the upper Miocene deposits that contain olistolithes derived from
the frontal part of the Magura nappe (Slaczka and
Oszczypko, 1987). In addition, in the southeastern part
of Poland, in the Bieszczady Mountains in the lower
part of the Krosno beds, horizons of olistostromes occur with blocks of metamorphic rocks and limestones,
and near Sanok town, horizons of olistostromes occur
with blocks of granites.
Toward the east, near the Polish Ukrainian border,
as an effect of plunging of the Silesian unit, the deposits
that are older than the Oligocene almost completely
disappear from the surface, and the unit passed in the
Ukrainian Carpathians into the internal part of the
Krosno zone (the Turka subzone that wedges out near
the Black Tisza). In addition, a change in lithofacies
exists. The Late Cretaceous (Coniacian Maastrichtian)
sediments are represented by a 200-m (660-ft) sequence
of dark, medium-bedded quartzitic sandstones and
dark shales that pass into the complex of dark mediumto thick-bedded sandstones and dark greenish shales
(Soimy beds; Paleocene middle Eocene; 400 500 m
[13001600 ft]). The latter lithofacies of the Krosno zone
are similar to those known from the inner part of the
Silesian unit from the wells Wetlina Geological Institute
(IG 1) and Wetlina IG 2 near the village of Wetlina in the
southeastern Polish Carpathians. The late Eocene and
Oligocene early Miocene deposits (as much as 2000 m
[6600 ft]) are similar to those of the Silesian and Skole
Skyba units.

Andrychow Ridge
This unit is represented by several huge blocks on the
boundary between the Silesian and Subsilesian units,
near the town of Andrychow. Probably, they are remnants of a calcareous platform that was situated between Silesian and Subsilesian sedimentary areas or
represented a part of Subsilesian substratum. The composition of the klippes differs from the adjacent units,
although the Upper Cretaceous sediments show a
similarity to the sequences of the Subsilesian unit. The
nonflysch, calcareous facies are very characteristic for
the Andrychow ridge sequences (Ksiazkiewicz, 1951;
Gasinski, 1998). The basement of the ridge was made
up of granite-gneiss or mylonitized rocks. The sedimentary sequences are represented by crinoidal and
shallow-water limestones of Late Jurassic age covered
by transgressive early Campanian conglomerates and
marls, limestones, and shaly marls of Campanian and
Maastrichtian age. Paleocene and early Eocene are represented by organogenic limestones and shales. The

more basinal or slope facies are represented by Maiolicatype Late Jurassic Early Cretaceous cherty limestones
(Olszewska and Wieczorek, 2001).

Subsilesian Unit
During the Early Cretaceous and the lower part of the
Late Cretaceous, the sedimentation in the Subsilesian
realm (Figures 3, 9) had a basinal character, very similar
to the Silesian basin, and both basins were connected.
The Subsilesian realm became generally uplifted later on,
and on the slope of this uplift, marly lithofacies developed. The oldest known deposits (BarremianAptian)
of this unit are euxinic black shales (Verovice shales),
with intercalations of complexes of thick-bedded, coarsegrained, and conglomeratic sandstones (Grodziszcze
sandstones; as much as 200 m [660 ft]). These sediments
show similarity to the deposits of the same age in Silesian subbasin. During the Albian, turbiditic sedimentation developed which displayed a thinning-upward
sedimentary sequence. The lower part of the sequence
is represented by a complex of thick-bedded, fine- to
coarse-grained sandstones more than 150 m (500 ft) thick,
with intercalations of black shales (lower Lgota beds).
These sandstones are overlain by a 400-m (1300-ft)-thick
complex of fine-grained sandstones varying in thickness. A part of these beds represent typical gaizes, with
numerous spicules (Gaize beds), in places with lenses
of spongiolites. At the beginning of the Cenomanian,
green radiolarian shales and radiolarites developed,
similar to the adjacent basins. They are covered by variegated shales of the CenomanianTuronian age that
pass upward into a thick complex (about 700 m [2300 ft])
of red and green marls (Weglowka marls) that are
Senonian to middle Eocene (Mitura and Birecki, 1966).
In the western part of the Subsilesian unit, intercalations of sandy and conglomeratic complexes of the
upper Senonian and/or Paleocene are present. During
the late Senonian, gray marls (Frydek marls), commonly with exotic rocks (Burtan et al., 1984), developed
in this area. The marly complex passed upward into
variegated shales and/or a series of shales and thinbedded sandstones terminated by green shales and
Globigerina marls representing the uppermost part of
the Eocene. The Oligocene begins, as in adjacent areas,
with brown, bituminous shales (Menilite beds) that
grade upward into a complex of thick- and mediumbedded, calcareous sandstones and marly shales (Krosno
beds). Locally, near the Zegocina village, gray mudstones
similar to the Krosno beds of the early Miocene have been
found (W. Gorczyk, 2003, personal communication).
Toward the east, the Subsilesian, Late Cretaceous
variegated marls extend probably to the Ukrainian
Carpathians. A narrow strip of marly deposits at the

The General Geology of the Outer Carpathians, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine

237

Figure 9. Comparative lithostratigraphic profiles


of the Silesian and Subsilesian units, north from
the Krosno town. pPkr3 = Krosno beds, sandstones;
Pkr3 = Krosno beds; Pme
3 = Menilite shales; r = cherts;
P2gl = Globigerina marls; Ph2 = Hieroglyphic beds;
PKw
2 = Weglowka marls; ps = red and green shales;
Pc2 = Ciezkowice sandstones; lPis
1 = upper Istebna
is
shales; pPis
=
upper
Istebna
sandstones;
1
pK2 = lower
g
Istebna beds; K2 = Godula beds; rK2 = radiolarian
lg
ge
gr
cherts; K1 = Lgota beds; K1 = Gaize beds; pK1 =
w
Grodziszcze sandstones; K1 = Verovice shales; Kc1 =
Cieszyn beds.

Rozluch scale can represent a prolongation of the Weglowka marls.


To the west, the Subsilesian sediments and especially red marls continue to the Helvetic zone of the
Alpine foreland. In the Moravian Carpathians, the
Subsilesian lithofacies are partly replaced by sediments of the Zdanice unit (Picha et al., 2006).

Zdanice Unit
For a description of this unit, see Picha et al. (2006).

SKOLESKYBA UNIT AND BORYSLAVPOKUTTYA UNITS


The Skole Skyba units and more external Boryslav
Pokuttya unit (Figures 4, 5, 10) are described together
because they developed in the same basin and show

generally similar sequences of sediments. The differentiation of both units is based mainly on their tectonic position.
The oldest sediments of the Skole unit (Figures 4, 5)
are represented by anoxic black shales, thin, laminated
siltstones with layers and lenses of siderites (Spas shales;
Barremian Albian) (Kotlarczyk, 1985; Kruglov, 2001).
The subordinate intercalations of fine-grained, thinbedded, quartzitic, and sparse calcareous sandstones
also occur here. The Kuzmina borehole, located southwest from Przemysl, encountered a complex of thickbedded sandstones several tens of meters thick in the
upper part of the Spas shales (Kuzmina sandstones,
Borys and Cisek, 1989). At the boundary between the
Albian and Cenomanian, a thin layer of green radiolaritic shales developed, which passed upward to the
red shales and whitish, siliceous turbiditic marls (Holownia marls). Above them, a thick complex of siliciclastic

238

SLACZKA ET AL.

Figure 10. Lithostratigraphic profile of the Skole unit. N1kr =


Krosno beds; pP3kr = sandstones, Krosno beds; P3kl =
Kliwa sandstones; P3me = Menilite shales; r = cherts; P2gl +
p = Globigerina marls and Popiele beds; P2h = Hieroglyphic
beds; P2ps = variegated shales; P1K2 i = Inoceramian beds;
K2mk = Holownia marls; ps = red and green shales, radiolarian cherts; K1k = Kuzmina sandstones; K1sp = Spas shales.

turbidites is developed (Inoceramian beds = Ropianka


Formation [Kotlarczyk, 1978] in Poland, Stryj beds
in Ukraine; Turonian Paleocene; more than 1500 m
[5000 ft] thick). It is represented by thin-bedded, calcareous sandstones alternating with gray shales in the lower
part. The middle part consists of thick-bedded sandstones, and the upper part consists of thin- and mediumbedded, calcareous sandstones and gray shales. Locally, in the western part of the Skole Skyba unit, in the
uppermost part (Paleocene) of the sequence, lenses of
black pebbly mudstones (Babica Clays) are present.
Above the turbiditic sequence, a horizon of red and
green shales appears (Jaremche horizon; Paleocene).
The higher part of the Paleogene displays distinct lateral changes of lithofacies. In the Polish and inner part
of the Ukrainian area above the red horizon, developed
green and gray clayey shales with intercalations of thin
layers of sandstones are present (Hieroglyphic beds in

Poland, Witwica beds in Ukraine; late Paleocene


middle Eocene about 150 m [500 ft]). In the outer part
of the Ukrainian part of Skyba and in the Boryslav
Pokuttya units, the red horizon is covered by thickbedded fluxoturbidites and conglomerates (Jamna beds;
late Paleocene; as much as 350 m [1150 ft]). These
sediments pass upward into thin-bedded turbidites
and shales (Maniava beds; early Eocene; as much as
350 m [1150 ft]) covered by a complex of thick-bedded
turbidites (Wyhoda beds; middle Eocene; as much as
300 m [1000 ft]) and locally by a series of light limestones and calcareous turbidites (Pasieczna beds;
middle Eocene; as much as 200 m [660 ft]). The sedimentation of green shales with subordinate thin sandstones (Bystryci Formation) with local intercalations of
gray marls and slump deposits with exotic material
(Popiele beds) prevailed during the late Eocene. Marls
with Globigerina sp. (Globigerina marls; late Eocene) terminate these sequences.
The Oligocene sequence begins with dark brown,
bituminous shales (Menilite beds) with cherts in its
lower part and lenses of thick, coarse-grained, fluxoturbiditic sandstones (Kliwa sandstones) as much as
250 m (800 ft) thick. The Menilite beds pass gradually
upward through a transitional zone into a complex of
thick-bedded, medium-grained, calcareous sandstones
(lower Krosno beds, as much as 800 m [2600 ft] thick).
They are overlain by medium- and thin-bedded, calcareous sandstones and gray marly shales. Toward the top of
the sequence, sandstones gradually disappear, and the
upper part of the Krosno beds is represented mainly by
marly shales (upper Krosno Beds; early Miocene). The
lithological boundary is diachronous. It migrates upward
from the inner to the outer part of the SkoleSkyba unit.
The thickness of the Krosno beds exceeds 2400 m (7900 ft).
In the outer area of the Ukrainian part of the Skyba unit
and in the Boryslav-Pokuttya unit, the dark brown shales
are divided by gray marls and thin sandstones (Lopianetz beds; RupelianEggerian; as much as 200 m [660 ft])
into lower and upper Menilite beds. They are covered
by gray marly shales and sandstones (Polianycia Formation; Eggenburgian, more than 600 m [2000 ft]). In
the Boryslav-Pokuttya unit above the Polanytsia beds,
marls and shales (Vorotyshcha beds) are present with
evaporates (gypsum and salt) and with lenses of conglomerates (Sloboda conglomerate).

OUTER CARPATHIAN TECTONICS


During the late Oligocene and Miocene orogenesis,
several nappes corresponding to the lithostratigraphic
units were formed with prevalent northern direction of
thrusting in the Western Carpathians, northeastern

The General Geology of the Outer Carpathians, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine

and eastern in the Eastern Carpathians (e.g., Koszarski


et al., 1974; Ksiazkiewicz, 1977) (Figures 1 3, 11 13).
In the Western Carpathians, from the south, they are
1) Magura nappe
2) Fore-Magura Group of nappes that consist of ForeMagura unit, namely, the Obidowa Slopnice unit,
Grybow unit, and Jaslo unit
3) Dukla nappe
4) Silesian nappe
5) Subsilesian nappe
6) Skole Skyba nappe
In the Ukraine Carpathians, they are
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
8)
9)

Magura nappe
Marmarosh unit
Rachiv nappe
Porkulets nappe
Dukla nappe
Chornohora nappe
Silesian Krosno zone
Skyba unit
Boryslav Pokuttya nappe

The Magura Nappe


The Magura nappe is the largest tectonic unit of the
Outer Western Carpathians (Figure 1) linked with
Rhenodanubian flysch of the Eastern Alps (Schnabel,
1992). This unit runs as an arc from the Wienerwald in
Austria through Moravia, Slovakian and Polish Beskids, and Eastern Slovakia. It narrows and disappears
east of Uzhorod (Transcarpathian Ukraine and adjacent Romania) beneath the Miocene volcanic rocks
(Ksiazkiewicz, 1977).
At the east of Latorica River, the prolongation of
the Magura nappe is uncertain and speculative. The
Monastyrets Petrova unit of the Marmarosh Klippen
zone, situated between the Shopurka and Latorica Rivers, could be regarded as the prolongation of the Magura nappe in the Eastern Carpathians (Sandulescu et al.,
1981; Sandulescu, 1988; Bombita and Pop, 1991; Bombita
et al., 1992; Oszczypko, 1992; Zytko, 1999; Airoldi, 2001).
The eastern termination of this unit is known from the
Poiana Botizei area in the Romanian Carpathians.
During the overthrust movements, the Magura nappe
has been completely uprooted from its substratum mainly
along ductile Upper Cretaceous rocks (Birkenmajer 1986;
Oszczypko, 1992). On the base of the facial differentiation of the Paleogene deposits, the Magura nappe has
been subdivided into four facies-tectonic subunits: the
Krynica, Bystrica, Raca, and Siary (see Koszarski et al.,

239

1974). The Krynica and Bystrica subunits form regional


thrust sheets. These separate thrust sheets are especially
visible in the western part of the Magura nappe in
Slovakia. Slovak geologists use the term Magura
Group of Nappes (e.g., Kovac and Plasienka, 2002).
These thrust sheets are also well visible in the adjacent
part of Poland in Beskidy west of Babia Gora (Golonka,
1981; see also Zytko et al., 1989). Eastward in the very
well-recognized Polish sector of the Magura nappe, the
independent subsidiary nappes are hard to distinguish
(Ksiazkiewicz, 1977). In the western prolongation of
the Magura nappe (Slovak and Czech Republics), the
position of the Krynica zone is occupied by the Bile
Karpaty zone (Potfaj, 1993). The Magura nappe is separated from the Pieniny Klippen Belt in Poland and the
adjacent part of Slovakia by a steeply dipping southward strike-slip boundary (Birkenmajer, 1986; Plasienka, 1999b). Westward, this boundary has a mixture of
strike-slip and thrust character (Picha, 1996; Kovac and
Plasienka, 2002). The Magura nappe is flatly thrust over
its foreland, and made up of the Fore-Magura group of
units and partly by the Silesian unit. The amplitude of
the overthrust is at least 50 km (30 mi), and the postmiddle Badenian thrust displacement is more than
12 km (7 mi) (Oszczypko and Zuchiewicz, 2000; Oszczypko, 2001). The northern limit of the nappe has an
erosional character. The subthrust morphology of the
Magura foreland is very distinctive. The shape of the
northern limit of the Magura nappe and the distribution of the tectonic windows inside the nappe are connected with the denivellation of the Magura basement.
As a rule, the embayments of the marginal thrust are
related to transverse bulges in the Magura basement,
whereas the peninsulas are located in the depressions
of the basement (Oszczypko, 2001). The zone of the tectonic windows, which are connected with the uplifted
Fore-Magura basement, is located at a distance of 10
15 km (69 mi) south from the northern limit of the unit
(e.g., Mszana Dolna, Szczawa, Kleczany, Ropa, Ujscie
Gorlickie, and Swiatkowa tectonic windows). The Obidowa unit occurs in the tectonic windows, which is regarded as the western prolongation of the Dukla unit
(Cieszkowski et al., 1985) and the Grybow unit, known
also as the KleczanyPisarzowa unit (Kozikowski, 1958).
These units are composed predominantly of the late
Eocene Oligocene deposits and sometimes of the Upper CretaceousPaleocene deposits. The Mszana Dolna
tectonic window is the biggest. It is situated in the central part of the Polish Carpathians. In the Mszana Dolna
tectonic window, the Grybow unit is made up of several,
south-dipping thrust sheets, composed of hinterlanddipping duplexes (see also Mastella, 1988). This duplex
structure had developed during the middle Miocene
thrusting, between the Magura and Dukla units, which

240
SLACZKA ET AL.

Figure 11. Cross section through the western part of the Polish Carpathians between Krakow Zakopane (M. Cieszkowski, 2002, personal communication).

The General Geology of the Outer Carpathians, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine

Figure 12. Cross section through the eastern part of the Polish and Slovak Carpathians between Rzeszow and Smilno (modified after Oszczypko et al., 1998).

241

242
SLACZKA ET AL.

Figure 13. Cross sections through the inner part of the Ukrainian Carpathians.

The General Geology of the Outer Carpathians, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine

formed the roof and floor thrust, respectively (Oszczypko, 2001). South of the zone of tectonic windows,
the inclination of the Magura thrust surface increases,
and at the northern boundary of the Pieniny Klippen
Belt, the thickness of the Magura nappe is more than
5 km (3 mi). The Krynica, Bystrica (Nowy Sacz), Raca,
and Siary subunits coincide, to a large extent, with the
corresponding facies zone. In the Magura unit, three
structural complexes can be distinguished. The first was
formed during the Late CretaceousPaleocene, the second was formed during the early to late Eocene, and
the last was formed during the Oligocene to early Miocene (Oszczypko and Thomas, 1985; Oszczypko, 1992,
1999; Malata et al., 1996). These complexes revealed a
decreasing degree of tectonic deformation from the
base to the top of the nappe. In the area surrounding
the Mszana Dolna and Szczawa tectonic windows, the
basal part of the nappe, made up of Upper Cretaceous
Paleocene flysch rocks, is strongly deformed. In the
lower to upper Eocene flysch of the Raca and Krynica
subunits, the broad westeast-trending synclines and
narrow anticlines dominate. The southern limbs of synclines are commonly reduced and overturned. In the
Bystrica (Nowy Sacz) subunit, subvertical thrust sheets
are common. Both the northern limbs of the anticlines
and the southern limbs of the synclines are tectonically
reduced and commonly overturned. In the Krynica and
Raca subunits, the youngest (Malcov Formation, late
Eoceneearly Oligocene), weakly deformed deposits of
the Magura nappe unconformably overlie the older
Eocene flysch deposits.
The Biele Karpaty (White Carpathians) were traditionally regarded as an integral part of the Magura nappe
and correlated with the Oravska Magura (Krynica
subunit), which is in a similar tectonic position with
respect to the Pieniny Klippen Belt. According to Potfaj
(1993), the Biele Karpaty forms a separate subunit. This
subunit is overthrust onto the Raca and Bystrica
subunits of the Magura (at least to 25 km [15 mi]).
The inner structure of the Biele Karpaty unit has a fold
and thrust character in its western part. The biggest
thrust, known as the Javorina nappe, forms a flat-lying
body approximately 50 km (30 mi) long, about 900 m
(2900 ft) thick, and 2025 km (1216 mi) wide.

The Marmarosh Unit


The Marmarosh unit stretching along the Pieniny
Klippen Belt is divided into two parts:
the Marmarosh Klippen zone and Marmarosh
crystalline massif
the Marmarosh Klippen zone

243

The Marmarosh Klippen zone is situated northeast


from the Pieniny Klippen zone; its northwest part is
overthrust onto the Rachiv and Porkulets nappes, and
its southeast part is overthrust onto the Marmarosh
crystalline massif. The surface of the overthrust, traced
by several boreholes, is generally steep, and the whole
zone dips steeply toward the southwest; only in the
area of Chornyj Cheremosh does the overthrust become locally flat, and its visible distance is more than
3.5 4 km (2.1 2.5 mi). The Marmarosh Klippen zone
is divided into two subzones on the base of tectonic
structures and age of folding: the external subzone of
Vezhany, which contains huge olistolithes (Soimul
olistostrome), and the internal subzone of Monastyrets, which is built mainly by flysch. The first subzone is
made up of a few thrust folds, whereas the second
subzone is a large monocline with small secondary
folds. The internal subzone is the prolongation of the
Petrova nappe and is regarded by some geologists as
the southeast prolongation of the Magura unit (Sandulescu, 1988; Oszczypko, 2001).
The Marmarosh crystalline massif is the northwest
prolongation of units known from the Romanian
Carpathians (Kropotkin, 1991; Golonka et al., 2003) as
Bucovinian Getic nappes (Sandulescu et al., 1981) or
Median Dacides (e.g., Stefanescu et al., 2006). It is overthrust on the Black Flysch unit or Rachiv unit and dipping under the Marmarosh Klippen zone. The massif
displays a nappe structure, and two subnappes were
distinguished (Kruglov, 2001): the Bilyi Potik (the lower subnappe) and the Dilove (the upper subnappe).
Minimal displacement magnitude of the Dilove nappe
is more than 10 km (6 mi), whereas in the Romanian
Carpathians, its displacement of more than 25 km (16 mi)
is observed. In front of the massif, the narrow Kaminnyi
Potik unit is present, composed of calcareous-terrigenous
deposits containing the Upper Jurassic effusives of the
basic type. Glushko and Kruglov (1986) consider this
thrust sheet as a part of the massif.

The Rachiv Nappe


The Rachiv nappe is represented by a narrow zone
made up of secondary folded Lower Cretaceous flysch
dipping generally toward the southwest under the
Kaminnyi Potok Marmarosh unit and is overthrust
on the Porkulets nappe. This overthrust is very gentle
in the Chyvchyny area and becomes very steep to the
northwest near the village of Dovhe. Magnitude of the
overthrust is apparently great, and its minimal value,
according to the existing data, is of several kilometers.
The Rachiv nappe forms a direct continuation of the
upper internal thrust sheet or the Ciuc digitation of the
Ceahlau nappe in the Romanian Carpathians. Toward

244

SLACZKA ET AL.

the northwest, it disappears under Vezany subzone


north from the village of Dovhe, and its west continuation is not known.

Porkulets Nappe
The Porkulets nappe is the largest among the internal
thrust sheets of the Ukrainian Carpathian Flysch. It
overthrusts the Dukla nappe and also the Chornohora
nappe farther to the southeast. The magnitude of horizontal displacement of the Porkulets nappe reaches at
least 12 km (7 mi) locally. This displacement is evidenced by the existence of a tonguelike tectonic semioutlier in the Mount Petros area and by borehole data.
According to the data from the Chornoholova parametric borehole, the thrust surface is steep and can be
estimated as 808 in the inner part of the Porkulets nappe.
The Porkulets nappe plunges to the southwest, below
the fragmented strip of the Rachiv nappe and at the
westernmost part below the Magura nappe. The thrust
surface is steep, and its dip can be estimated as 808. The
inner part of the Porkulets nappe is characterized by a
general submergence of the axis of folds from the
southeast, where only Early Cretaceous deposits are
exposed to the northwest where younger deposits are
also visible. It abruptly terminates near the Slovak
border, and its northwest prolongation is not clear.
The four subzones separated by cross-faults are distinguished based on tectonic structures and stratigraphic
profiles. They are, from the northwest to the southeast,
Chornoholova, Turya Polyana, Lysychiv, and Bila Tisza.
A distinctive feature of the Chornoholova subzone is
its general elevation and planar structures. Toward the
southeast, this subzone terminates on a transverse
wrench fault that is manifested as the Turya sigmoid
(flexure) in the more external Dukla nappe. The thrust
surface of the Turya Polyana subzone is steep and can
be estimated as 808. This zone consists of two thrust
folds: the internal Turycia and the external Zvir thrust
folds. A wrench fault separates this subzone from the
next, more uplifted Lysychiv subzone, the main subzone of the Porkulets nappe. This subzone is made up
of several thrust folds secondarily folded and cut by
several cross-faults and is terminated by a crossfault along the Luzanka River.
The Bila Tisza subzone, built mainly of the Early
Cretaceous deposits, is located further to the southeast. The distinctive feature of this subzone is the presence of the greenstone basic igneous and tufogenic
rocks in its frontal part. The Bila Tisza subzone is
strongly tectonized, and its internal structures are still
not satisfactorily recognized. It prolongs southeastward in the Romanian territory into the Bodok digitation of the Ceahlau nappe.

Dukla Nappe
The Dukla nappe stretches from the Polish to Ukrainian
Carpathians. In its southeastern part, this nappe consists
of several imbricated, thrust-faulted folds (Figure 12)
with a northwestsoutheast strike. The Dukla nappe is
maximally elevated in the east. The axis of folds plunges
gradually toward the northwest, and eventually, the
whole nappe disappears below the Magura nappe. Data
from boreholes (Zboj 1, Smilno 1) show that the Dukla
nappe extends under the Magura nappe far to the south.
Southeast from the SlovakUkraine border, where the
Magura nappe disappears, the inner part of the Dukla
nappe is hidden below the Porkulets nappe. From the
more external Silesian nappe and/or Zboj unit, the
Dukla nappe is separated by a thrust plane more distinct
in the eastern than in the western part. Data from the deep
boreholes Jasliska 2 and Wetlina 3 show that the thrust
plane in the Polish part of the nappe is very steep.
However, data from the deep borehole Zboj 1 indicate
that thrust exceeds 15 km (9 mi), and the thrust plane
beneath the more internal part of the Dukla nappe
becomes more flat.
In the Polish and Slovakian part of the Dukla nappe,
two subunits can be distinguished: the internal and the
external subunits. The folds in the internal subunit are
generally gently dipping toward the southwest and
the units overthrust is low dipping, whereas in the
external subunit, folds are steep and commonly with
a reversed (southwestern) vergence. The internal subunit disappears on the border between Slovakia and
Ukraine; however, the fact that this subunit prolongs
into the Porkulets nappe cannot be excluded.
In the southeastern Ukrainian part, the Dukla nappe
has a general direction of submergence from the southeast to the northwest. It is made up of several thrust folds
commonly with a southwest vergence. The presence of
the gentle brachysynclinal folds is the most distinctive
structural feature in the Ukrainian part of the Dukla
unit. The best known brachysyncline of the Polonyna
Runa was interpreted as a late Oligocene superimposed
trough or as an isometric fold formed by an uplift of a
crystalline basement at its basis or as a rootless tectonic
outlier. Kruglov and Tarasenko (1984) interpret it as a
normal brachysyncline with disharmonic folds at its
base because of diverse physical properties of the substratum. Three structural-facial en echelon subzones
are delimited in the Dukla nappe: the Stuzhycia in the
northwest, the median Luzhanka, and the Blyznyca in
the southeast. The Dukla nappe disappears from the
surface in the valley of Bily Cheremosh, and its continuation toward the southeast is unknown. It could be
connected with the Romanian Teleajen nappe, which is
assigned to the Moldavides (Sandulescu et al., 1981).

The General Geology of the Outer Carpathians, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine

Beneath the Dukla nappe, a separate tectonic unit,


the Zboj unit, was described from the borehole Zboj 1,
situated in east Slovakia. Only a fragment of a limb of
anticline represents this unit. Its internal structures
and relation to the more outer tectonic units, especially the Silesian nappe, are unknown.

Fore-Magura Group of Units


The small tectonic units encountered in the Western
Carpathians in front or beneath the Magura nappe
belong to this group. The Fore-Magura nappe, located
near the town of Zywiec, occupies the most western
position in the Fore-Magura group of units. It consists
of two narrow, asymmetrical anticlines with thrust
faults, the inner anticline being strongly deformed and
disharmonic. Toward the east, this unit disappears
completely. Further toward the east, another unit, the
Grybow unit, is exposed in several tectonic windows in
the Magura nappe, from the Mszana Dolna tectonic
window to the Smilno tectonic window in Slovakia. It
was also encountered in several boreholes below the
Magura nappe. This unit is strongly folded, with several disharmonic thrust-faulted folds. The Grybow
unit is itself thrust over the Obidowa Slopnice unit or
on the Silesian unit. The Obidowa Slopnice unit is
present in several boreholes between the Obidowa and
Slopnice (Obidowa IG 1 and Chabowka 1) and in several boreholes in the Slopnice area. The strata of this
unit are fairly gently dipping toward the south, commonly without any intense tectonic deformation, except
in the higher part. The Jaslo nappe (Koszarski, 1985)
forms a rather poorly defined unit existing in front of
the Magura nappe to the west of the town of Jaslo. It
was distinguished in the Harklova and Luzna peninsulas of the Magura nappe. The Jaslo nappe is flatly
thrust over the Silesian nappe with complicated internal structures. However, L. Jankowskis (2003, personal
communication) opinion states that rocks regarded as
the Jaslo nappe represent olistostromes in the youngest
deposits of the Silesian unit. Some of these units (Grybow
and Slopnice-Obidowa) display a general affinity and
probably belonged to a bigger nappe, which was divided
into separate units during the Neogene folding.

Chornohora Nappe
The Chornohora nappe stretches from the Romanian
border to the Teresva Chorna Tisza area, where it
disappears under the Dukla nappe. It is connected to
the Audia nappe in Romania. Two smaller elements
are distinguished here, according to the character of

245

tectonic structures and differences in their lithological


development: these are the Skupiv subzone in the
north and the Yalovychor, or the Hoverla, subzone in
the south. The first one is represented by a complicated secondary folded and faulted monoclinal structure dipping toward the northwest. The more internal
subzone is made up of numerous narrow, long, commonly steep thrust folds. It is also called the subzone
of small thrust folds. Existing data imply that the
Chornohora nappe was displaced more than 10 km
(6 mi) to the northeast along a gentle overthrust on
the Krosno zone. The Chornohora nappe was completely penetrated at a depth of 3800 m (12,500 ft) by the
Hryniava parametric borehole, which was started in
the Skupiv zone, 6 km (4 mi) from the nappe front.
After penetrating through the Chornohora nappe, the
borehole reached into the Oligocene Lower Cretaceous deposits of the Verhovyna depression belonging
to the Krosno zone. The Chornohora nappe thrust surface is dipping at an angle of 308.

Silesian Nappe
The Silesian nappe stretches from the Moravia area
(Czech Republic) to Ukraine, where it loses its individuality. In the western segment of the Polish Carpathians, the Silesian nappe is flatly overthrust onto
the substratum (Figure 11). Within the Silesian nappe,
several tectonic windows are present where the Subsilesian nappe is exposed. Toward the east, the thrust
plane gradually plunges, and at the same time, the
character of the tectonic structures changes in the Silesian nappe. In the western part, the structures are
generally shallow and gently folded, whereas toward
the east, they pass into long, narrow, steeply dipping,
imbricated folds. The southern part of the Silesian
nappe is hidden beneath the Magura nappe and the
Dukla Fore-Magura nappes (Figures 11, 12).
To the west of the Sola River, near the western
border of Poland, the Silesian nappe is composed of
two subunits: the Cieszyn subunit is built of a strongly
folded Lower Cretaceous strata, whereas the Godula
subunit is composed of Upper Cretaceous and Paleogene deposits that dip monoclinally southward. This
part of the Silesian nappe is cut by several transverse
faults. Farther to the east, the Cieszyn subunit and the
Godula subunit join, and the Silesian nappe is built of
several gently folded structures. East of the Dunajec
River, these structures pass into imbricated folds. The
more important structures are the Stroze, Jankowa, and
Ciezkowice folds. Small oil fields are associated with
these folds. Toward the east, the Stroze fold passes into
the broad Gorlice fold (Figure 12), where one of the

246

SLACZKA ET AL.

oldest oil fields in the Carpathians exists. Within the


culmination of the next fold to the north, the Ciezkowice
Biecz fold, small oil fields were found. The eastern part
of the Silesian nappe, east of the Wislok river, plunges
toward the southeast and is represented by a synclinorium (Central Carpathian Synclinorium), which is
made up mainly of Oligocene deposits (Wdowiarz,
1985). The Central Carpathian Synclinorium is made of
several long, narrow, imbricated, thrust-faulted folds
that are commonly disharmonic (Figure 12). These folds
are cut by several transverse faults that divide them into
separate blocks. The folds display, along the strike,
several axial culminations, where, along the northern
and southern margins of the synclinorium, the Cretaceous and Eocene strata are exposed. Several folds and
thrust folds were distinguished in the Central Carpathian Synclinorium: the FoluszBukowicaFore-Dukla
zone, Zboiska, the LubatowkaIwonicz SpaTokarnia
fold, the OsobnicaBobrka RogiSuche Rzeki fold, the
LubienkaMokreZatwarnica fold, the RoztokiPotok
TuraszowkaKroscienkoTarnawaWielopoleCzarna
fold, the Sanok Zmiennica Strachocina Czarnorzeki
fold, and the Ustianowa Miedzybrodzie Grabownica fold. Several oil fields are connected with these
folds (Slaczka, 1996a).
The Central Carpathian Synclinorium passes into
the Krosno zone on the territory of Ukraine. Southeast
from the town of Sanok, the amplitudes of marginal
thrusts of the Silesian nappe and of the Subsilesian
nappe diminish and eventually terminate, and this zone
passes into a normal fold. Therefore, the prolongation
of the boundary between the Silesian and Skole units
toward the southeast is not so clear as it is in the west.
The Silesian nappe prolongs on the Ukrainian territory
into the Krosno zone.
The boundary between the Krosno zone and the
Skyba nappe in Ukraine is generally placed along the
large rupture dislocation that stretches along the internal boundary of the Skyba nappe and ends somewhere in the median part of the Ukrainian Carpathians. However, the dislocation does not limit but
merely cuts the large synclinorium buildup of thick
Oligocene lower Miocene flysch strata and the intramountain molasse of the Krosno beds.
Within the Krosno zone, three subzones are distinguished according to structural and lithological-facial
peculiarities. The most inner subzone (the Bytliana
subzone) is characterized by the development of the
Oligocene olistostrome formations. It forms a narrow
strip along the front of the Dukla nappe and corresponds generally to the Fore-Dukla subunit of the
Polish Carpathians. Pre-Oligocene formations are exposed only at the Stryi headwaters in the core of the
Smole structure.

The Turka subzone that wedges out near the Black


Tisza occupies the intermediate location. It is a nappe
thrust over the most external Slavsko Verhovyna
subzone. This subzone is elevated at its southeastern
part (at the interflow of the Black Tisza and the Rika)
and is submerged at its northwestern part. It was also
proposed to relate the area located to the northeast
from this nappe (Slavsko Verhovina subzone) already
to the Skyba nappe.
A distinctive feature of the Slavsko Verhovyna
subzone is its general submergence. The subzone is
divided into the Slavsko depression in the northwest
and the Verhovyna depression in the southeast. These
elements are separated by a gentle transversal elevation located between the headwaters of the Tereblia
and the Bystrytsia Nadvirnianska.

Andrychow Zone
In the western part of the Outer Carpathians near the
town of Andrychow, along the Silesian nappe, several
huge blocks exist built mainly by Jurassic limestones.
They were regarded as tectonic klippen that were
sheared off during the movements of the Silesian nappe
(Ksiazkiewicz, 1977); however, new data suggest that
they are olistolithes in the uppermost part of the Krosno
beds of the Subsilesian nappe (Slaczka, 1998).

The Subsilesian Nappe


The Subsilesian nappe is exposed in a narrow, strongly tectonized zone in front of the Silesian nappe and
also in the Western Polish Carpathians in several tectonic windows in that nappe. The presence of the
Subsilesian nappe was also established in numerous
boreholes beneath the Silesian and the Magura nappes
(Figures 11, 12).
In the frontal part of the Silesian nappe, north of
the town Krosno, the Subsilesian nappe is exposed in
the Weglowka tectonic half window. Deep wells connected with the Weglowka oil field show that the
tectonic window is built of a refolded thrust-faulted
anticline. The Subsilesian nappe is steeply overthrust
onto the Skole nappe. Further to the east, the Subsilesian nappe forms once more a narrow zone in
front of the Silesian nappe (Figure 12). Near the town
of Ustrzyki Dolne, the Subsilesian nappe disappears
from the surface, and the frontal part of the Silesian
nappe becomes a thrust-faulted fold and eventually
joins with the Skole nappe. A possibility also exists
that tectonic prolongation of the Subsilesian nappe is
the Rosluch thrust fold in Ukraine.

The General Geology of the Outer Carpathians, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine

THE SKOLESKYBA NAPPE


The Skole Skyba nappe forms a large portion of the
eastern part of the Northern Carpathians and is overthrust onto the Miocene sediments that cover the North
European platform (Figure 12). This nappe is the
largest unit in the Outer Carpathians (as much as 40 km
[25 mi] wide) and is the only structural unit that stretches
from Poland, where it is called the Skole nappe, through
the whole of the Ukrainian Carpathians, where it is
named the Skyba nappe, and passes into Romania as the
Tarcau nappe. The most distinctive structural feature of
the zone is the occurrence of large thrust-folds skybas
thrust over each other in the northeast direction and
traced for several hundreds of kilometers along the
stretch of the Carpathian arc. The width of such skybas
ranges from a few kilometers to as much as 12 km (7 mi).
Toward the west, the Skole Skyba nappe becomes
more and more narrow, and eventually, the Skole nappe
plunges under the Subsilesian and Silesian nappes near
the town of Brzesko, and in this area, these nappes
reach the Carpathian margin. Its prolongation further
toward the west is not clear. However, sometimes, the
marginal flysch unit, near the town of Wadowice, is
considered as a western prolongation of the Skole nappe.
The outer part of the Skole nappe is elevated and
consists of numerous, narrow, steep, thrust-faulted
anticlines where the Lower Cretaceous Spas shales appear at the surface (Figure 12). The synclines are narrow and made up of the Menilite or Krosno beds.
Southwest from the town of Przemysl, the folds create
a sigmoidal arc that reflects a similar sigmoidal bend of
the Carpathian margin. Near the town of Rzeszow, the
marginal part of the Skole nappe is covered by Miocene
molasses, which form a piggyback basin. Farther toward the west, near the town of Pilzno, the northern
part of the Skole nappe is probably folded together
with the Miocene cover.
The inner part of the Skole nappe is represented
by a synclinal area made of several folds (Tyrawa
Lodyna, PaszowaWankowa, Witrylow, and Wara) with
broad synclines composed of the Oligocene lower
Miocene Krosno beds (Figure 12). In this part of the
Skole nappe, the deepest borehole in the Polish Carpathians, the Kuzmina 1 (7541 m; 24,740 ft), was situated. Near the town of Strzyzow, the axis of folds
plunges, and synclines join together, creating a vast
Strzyzow synclinorium.
The structures observed in the western part of the
nappe continue toward the southeast. Six thrust folds
(skybas), secondary folded, were distinguished in the
Skole Skyba nappe in Ukraine (external thrust folds:
Marginal, Oriv, and Skole; and internal thrust folds:
Parashka, Zelemjanka, and Rozhanka). The frontal parts

247

of thrust folds in SkoleSkyba nappe are commonly


made up of the Upper Cretaceous deposits (Holovnia
and Stryi beds) and sometimes of Paleogene formations. The inner parts of three external thrust folds are
made of the Oligocene and the lower Miocene deposits
(Menilite shales), whereas the inner parts of the internal thrust folds are represented by the lower Miocene Krosno beds. Two inner thrust folds are distinctly
traced only to the Lomnytsia River. Farther to the east,
they are hidden below the Oligocene lower Krosno
beds. The Marginal (Berehova) thrust fold disappears
in the area of the Pokuttya Carpathians, where it was
completely destroyed by erosion. Hence, only two thrust
folds are distinctly traced up to the Romanian border:
the Oriv and the Skole thrust folds. The continuation of
the more inner thrust folds is not very clear.
The Skole Skyba nappe is thrust over the Boryslav
Pokuttya nappe in the east and over the folded and/or
autochthonous Miocene covering the North European
platform in the west. The thrust plane of the Skyba
nappe is different in diverse regions and changes from
very gentle (where the thickness of the nappe is small)
to very steep. Especially, a steep thrust plane exists at
the most internal part of the nappe, where it has been
discovered in recent years by superdeep boreholes. In
the Bytkov region, the magnitude of a vertical displacement of the Skyba nappe exceeds 17 km (11 mi).
However, in the west, the thrust plane is more flat. The
Kuzmina 1 borehole (Figure 2), situated 30 km (18 mi)
from the northern boundary of the SkoleSkyba nappe,
reached the thrust plane at a depth of 6399 m (20,994 ft).
Further to the west, in borehole Szufnarowa 1 (Figure 2)
situated 15 km (9 mi) from the northern boundary, the
thrust plane was encountered at the depth 4000 m
(13,000 ft).
The Skole nappe is locally covered by Miocene molasses, which form piggyback basins. Near the town of
Pilzno, the northern part of the Skole nappe is probably
folded together with the Miocene cover.

BoryslavPokuttya Nappe
This nappe developed only in the Eastern Carpathians.
Within the Ukrainian segment, it is commonly designated as the BoryslavPokuttya nappe, and on Romanian territory, it is designated as the Marginal fold unit.
This nappe is composed of Cretaceouslower Miocene
flysch, as well as early Miocene molasse. Therefore,
that unit is commonly regarded as the inner foredeep
zone.
The Boryslav Pokuttya nappe consists of four main
thrust folds: the Boryslav, the Maydan, the Pokuttya,
and the Runhur (Glushko and Kruglov, 1986). They

248

SLACZKA ET AL.

have a very complicated, refolded, internal structure


typical for duplexes. The majority of the folds display a
northeast vergence as well as an absence of tucked-in
limbs. Very commonly, two or three folds are overthrust one on top of the other and display stacked
structures. The presence of thick clay and salt-containing
deposits substantially complicates the local structures
of those folds. Sometimes, two or three digitations of
such folds (partial thrust sheets) could be delimited in
the profile. Sometimes, a diagonal strike of the main
folds in relation to the main structure of the nappe
could be observed, and five to seven separate groups
of such folds are distinguished. The largest groups of
folds are the Blazhiv, the Boryslav, the Dolyna, the
Bytkiv, and the Pokuttya Dzviniany.
The Boryslav Pokuttya nappe is overthrust on
the folded Miocene [Sambir (Stebnik) nappe] laying on
the autochthonous Miocene of the Ukrainian platform
(Kruglov, 1999). The thrust plane is very steep or even
overturned near the surface, but at depths of 3 4 km
(2 2.5 mi), it became almost flat. The overthrust, documented by boreholes, is of a magnitude of at least 20 km
(12 mi). The continuation of the Boryslav Pokuttya
nappe below the Polish part of the Skole Skyba nappe
is still controversial. No real traces of this structure
have been present. If it exists, it is hidden far to the south
below the Carpathians.

THE DEEP STRUCTURE OF THE OUTER CARPATHIANS


The deep structure of the Polish Outer Carpathians
and its basement has been recognized by deep borehole results as well as by magnetotelluric, gravimetric,
magnetic, geomagnetic, and deep seismic sounding profiles (Woznicki and Sucha, 1989; Guterch et al., 2001;
Stefaniuk, 2002; Stefaniuk and Slaczka, 2002).
Deep boreholes (as much as 9000 m [29,500 ft]), which
reached the Carpathian substratum, were drilled along
the Outer Carpathians (Figures 2, 11, 12) (see also Oszczypko et al., 2006; Picha et al., 2006). They allowed the
recognition of the deep structures of the Carpathians,
the depth of Carpathian thrust plane, its minimal
range, as well as the character of the substratum. First
of all, they proofed the thin-skinned character of the
Outer Carpathians orogen, which is thrust over the
autochthonous Miocene deposits covering the eastern
and western parts of the North European platform.
They also documented the occurrence of several uprooted nappes thrust upon each other and the existence
of new tectonic and lithostratigraphic units that were
not known from the surface data.
Generally, the thrust plane of the Carpathians dipped
slowly to the south in their western part (see Oszczypko

and Tomas, 1985). The borehole Bystre IG 1 located 30 km


(18 mi) southward from the northern margin of the
Carpathians crossed this plane at the depth of 3131 m
( 10,272 ft) below sea level. Toward the east, this plane
plunges gradually. West of Krakow, borehole Zawoja 1,
also situated 30 km (18 mi) from the Carpathian margin,
crossed the plane on the depth of 3225 m ( 10,580 ft)
below sea level. In the eastern part of the Polish Carpathians (Oszczypko and Tomas, 1985), borehole Brzozowa 1, situated 10 km (6 mi) from the margin, reached
substratum at the depth of 2575 m ( 8448 ft) below
sea level. Borehole Szufnarowa 1, 15 km (9 mi) from
the margin, passed the plane at depth of 3455 m
( 11,335 ft) below sea level, and borehole Kuzmina 1,
25 km (16 mi) from the margin, reached the plane at the
depth of 6885 m ( 22,588 ft) below sea level. The
southeast plunging of the thrust plane of the Carpathians continues also in the Ukrainian Carpathians,
where borehole Schevthenkovo 1, situated 16 km (10 mi)
from the Carpathian margin, did not reach the Carpathian flysch up to the depth of 7520 m (24,672 ft).
Seismic data provide similar values of the depth of
the thrust plane. These seismic data were obtained from
hundreds of reflection and refraction profiles crossing
the Outer Carpathians, especially along their outer part.
Because of data from deep boreholes, new tectonostratigraphic units were found, which were hidden completely below the nappes and not known previously
from the surface data. Part of them are an important
factor in the hydrocarbon exploration. In the middle
part of the Outer Carpathians (Figure 2, 11), several
boreholes, e.g., Obidowa IG 1, Chabowka 1, and Slopnice 20, encountered a new unit (Obidowa Slopnice)
completely hidden below the Magura nappe. In addition, in the eastern part of Slovakia, the borehole
Zboj 1 came across an unknown unit (Zboj) below the
Dukla nappe.
The magnetotelluric soundings in the Polish Carpathians revealed a high resistivity horizon connected
to a consolidated crystalline basement (Kucharski et al.,
1990; Rylko and Tomas, 1995; Stefaniuk, 2002). According
to these authors, the depth of the crystalline basement
ranges from 4 to 8 km (2.5 to 5 mi) in the northern part
of the Carpathians, dips to approximately 15 20 km
(912 mi) at its deepest point, then rises to about 810 km
(5 5 mi) in the southernmost part of the orogen. The
axis of the basement depression is located along the
line Orava Nowy Targ Krynica Dukla Jablonka
and more or less coincides with the axis of the gravimetric minimum. The obtained results are generally in
agreement with the seismic and borehole data.
The results of gravimetric studies show distinct gravity minimum (as much as 60 mGal) along the Carpathian Flysch. The axis of this anomaly runs approximately

The General Geology of the Outer Carpathians, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine

parallel to the marginal Carpathian thrust in the west,


along the northern boundary of the Pieniny Klippen
Belt. East from the town of Nowy Targ, it shifts toward
the northwest along a perpendicular dislocation and
diagonally crosses the structures of the Outer Carpathians. In the Krosno area, the en echelon relocation
of the axis toward the north is observed, probably
along a strike-slip fault. Further eastward in the Ukrainian Carpathians, the axis runs toward Staryj Sambir
and almost approaches the outer margin of the Carpathians. That gravity minimum is related either to the
presence of low-density molasse deposits below the
Carpathians or to the structures in Moho (Woznicki
and Sucha, 1989). The integrated geophysical modeling
along the Rzeszow Bardejov geotraverse (Figure 12)
(Oszczypko et al., 1998) documented that regional
gravimetric low south of Krosno is a result of a combined effect of the thick Carpathian nappes, which
cover thick early Miocene molasses, and the occurrence of the Mesozoic and Paleogene deposits related
to the passive margin of the European platform.
The geomagnetic soundings provided the interesting data that helped to recognize the Carpathian substratum. They revealed the presence of a zone of zero
values of the Wieses vectors (see Woznicki and Sucha,
1989) that runs south from the Pieniny Klippen Belt
near Kroscienko upon Dunajec; westward, it crosses
the klippen zone and runs beneath the inner part
of the Outer Carpathians. This zone of zero values
is connected to a high conductivity body 2.5 6 km
(1.5 3.7 mi) thick, at a depth of 15 30 km (9 18 mi).
It probably indicates the position of the southern extent of the North European platform and its contact
with the Inner Carpathian basement (see Stranik et al.,
1993) and probably the southern extent of the Outer Carpathian overthrust. The observed data in the
Eastern Carpathians imply a change of the depth of
the asthenosphere that sinks from 80 km (50 mi) in
the west to more than 150 km (93 mi) in the Eastern
Carpathians.
The deep seismic profile located in the Slovakian
Carpathians (see Tomek, 1993) gives an approximate
thickness of the lithosphere and depth of the Moho
below the Carpathians. It shows that two groups of
south-dipping reflectors north of Pieniny Klippen Belt
exist that probably are related to the middle Miocene
subduction of the Moldavidic part of the Severin
Moldavidic realm (see also Tomek and Hall, 1993). The
upper reflection between 1 and 3 s (about 4.58 km [2.8
5 mi]) probably belongs to a plate boundary between the
upper plate (the thrust Penninic realm, mainly the
Magura wedge) and the accretionary wedge complex
(Moldavides or Dukla Silesian Subsilesian group of
units). The lower reflectors represent the crystalline

249

basement of the lower plate (North European plate)


and its sedimentary cover.
The position of the crust mantle boundary (Moho)
has been recognized along several seismic profiles
(Woznicki and Sucha, 1989; Guterch et al., 2001). The
depth to the Moho discontinuity generally ranged
from 30 to 40 km (19 to 25 mi) at the front of the
central part of the Carpathians and increases to 50 km
(31 mi) south of the Nowy Sacz. South of the Pieniny
Klippen Belt, this value decreases to 36 37 km (22
23 mi) and to only 24 30 km (15 18 mi) beneath the
Pannonian Basin. The consolidated basement with
velocity Vp > 6.0 km/s (3.7 mi/s) is situated at a
depth of 10 18 km (6 11 mi) beneath Carpathians
and 5 8 km (2.8 5 mi) beneath the Pannonian Basin. The Moho discontinuity in Ukrainian part of the
Outer Carpathians is determined at a depth of about
60 km (37 mi), with the P-wave velocity at 8.25 km/s
(5 mi/s). It implies the existence of a cross-fault between the Western and Eastern Carpathians. The seismic
data show the existence of a low-velocity zone beneath the Tatra that can be connected with the prolongation of the Outer Carpathians flysch below the
Tatras. According to Lillie et al. (1994), the thickness
of the lithosphere in the Polish Carpathians ranges
from 160 km (99 mi) near Krakow to 100 km (62 mi)
in the Pieniny Klippen Belt, with a temperature at
the depth of the Moho discontinuity ranging from
4008C beneath the Pieniny Klippen Belt to 660 7008C
beneath the Outer Carpathians.

Jurassic to Early Miocene Tectonostratigraphic


Evolution of the Outer Carpathian Flysch Basins
The Outer Carpathian basin (Figure 14) was created
during the course of disintegration of the North European plate. It was connected with rifting and a formation of thinned or oceanic crust in the Penninic
realm Magura basin (Early Middle Jurassic) and also in the Severin Moldavides realm Outer Dacides
and Silesian basin ( Jurassic Cretaceous boundary)
(see Birkenmajer, 1986; Rakus, et al., 1988; Sandulescu,
1988; Tolman, 1990; Dercourt et al., 1993; Golonka
et al., 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006). During the sedimentarytectonic evolution of the Outer Carpathian basins, several periods can be distinguished.
The first period began from the incipient stage of
rifting of the southern part of the European plate and the
formation of local basins (Early JurassicKimmeridgian).
The new configuration of plates replaced the older one,
represented by the Transylvanian domain. The Transylvanian oceanic basin developed during the Triassic

250

SLACZKA ET AL.

Figure 14. Sketch of probable


distribution of ridges and subbasins in Outer Carpathian basin,
partly palinspastic (based on
Slaczka, 2000). A = Andrychow
ridge; CU = Kuman ridge; FM =
Fore-Magura basin; MK = Marmarosh Klippen; KZ = Krosno
zone; MM = Marmarosh massive;
RHD = Rhenodanubian flysch;
SC = Silesian Cordillera; SS =
Subsilesian realm; Chorn. =
Chornohora subbasin; Tele. =
Teleajen subbasin.

and was closed during the Cretaceous. The exotic


material of the Late Triassic pelagic spotty limestones,
which occur as pebbles in Cretaceous Paleogene
gravelstones in the Pieniny Klippen Belt (Birkenmajer
et al., 1990) and Magura unit (Sotak, 1986), could have
originated in this basin. The Transylvanian basin position and its relation to the other parts of the Tethys
and Vardar Ocean, MeliataHalstatt Ocean, Dobrogea
rift, and PolishDanish Aulacogen remain quite speculative. The Penninic domain, which belongs to the
Alpine Tethys, was opening during the Early Middle
Jurassic. The Alpine Tethys, that is, the Ligurian, the
Penninic, and the Pieniny Klippen Belt and Magura
oceans, constitutes the extension of the Central Atlantic system. Bill et al. (2001) date the onset of oceanic
spreading of the Alpine Tethys by isotopic methods as
Bajocian. According to Winkler and Slaczka (1994),
the Pieniny data fit well with the supposed opening of
the Ligurian Penninic Ocean. During the Early Jurassic rift stage, the single basin existed in the future
PieninyMagura realm. During the BajocianBathonian,
the Czorsztyn ridge originated. Plasienka (2002) postulated the thermal uplift above the distal, subcrustal
part of detachment fault. The origin of the Czorsztyn
ridge is coeval with the spreading phase of the Pieniny

Magura Ocean. However, it should be stressed that the


existence of the oceanic crust beneath the Magura
basin could be disputable (Winkler and Slaczka, 1994).
The occurrence of the mafic (basalt) intrusions in the
eastern termination of the Czorsztyn ridge in Novoselica Klippen (Lashkevitsch et al., 1995) seems to
support the thermal origin of the ridge related to the
oceanic spreading. The orientation of the Pieniny
Ocean was southwest northeast (see discussion in
Aubrecht and Tunyi, 2001; Golonka and Krobicki,
2001). The Pieniny Magura Ocean was divided into
the northwestern and southeastern branches. The
deepest parts of both basins are documented by deepwater, extremely condensed, JurassicEarly Cretaceous
pelagic limestones and radiolarites. The shallowest
ridge sequences are known as the Czorsztyn succession. In this succession, the Early Jurassic Posidonia marls
are followed by Middle Jurassicearliest Cretaceous
crinoidal and nodular limestones and Late Cretaceous
Ammonitico rosso and marly facies. The transitional
slope sequences between the deepest basinal units and
ridge units consist of mixed cherty, limestone, and
marly facies. The northeastern part of the basin developed later into the Magura basin. The detailed
study of the basinal facies (Golonka and Sikora, 1981)

The General Geology of the Outer Carpathians, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine

revealed an enormous condensation of Nannoconus limestones and radiolarites. The Upper Jurassic Lower
Cretaceous profiles do not exceed more than a dozen
or so meters. In the external case, 2 m (6.6 ft) was
deposited during a time span of 50 m.y. This Jurassic
Ocean was connected with the older, Triassic Transylvanian Ocean. A junction of the eastern and Atlantic Tethys
existed perhaps in the Eastern SlovakianUkrainian
Carpathians and is represented by the InacovceKrichevo
unit (Sotak et al., 2000). The opening of the Severin
Moldavidic basins was related to the gradual closing of the
Transylvanian Ocean, which disappeared entirely during
the Cretaceous. Shallow-water, calcareous sediments prevailed in the SeverinMoldavidic realm. Riftogenic magmatic rocks were connected with the Jurassic period: calcalkaline rocks (andesites of Zegocina; Slaczka, 1998) and
basic, ultrabasic rocks, e.g., Biala Woda, Kaminnyi, Potok,
and Poiana Botizei, along the southern margin of the
platform.
The next stage (Tithonian Valanginian) is characterized by a rapid subsidence of local basins (Slaczka,
et al., 1999), where calcareous flysch sedimentation
started (Cieszyn area; Cieszyn beds and Eastern Carpathians Kamiennyi Potik Black Flysch and Rachiv
units; Slaczka, 1976). This calcareous detritus was probably derived from the erosion of the reef carbonate
platform and deposited by turbidity currents. Pelagic,
deep-water sedimentation occurred mainly in the Magura basin at the same time. The Penninic Pieniny
Magura Ocean reached its maximum width in the latest Jurassic and then stopped spreading. Subduction
jumped to the northern margin of the Inner Carpathian
terranes and began to consume the Pieniny Klippen
Belt Ocean (Birkenmajer, 1986; Golonka et al., 2000).
The closing process of the Pieniny Klippen Belt basin
is a matter of discussion, as summarized by Golonka
and Krobicki (2001) according to earlier elaborations
(e.g., Birkenmajer, 1986; Plasienka, 1999; Golonka et al.,
2000). The latest Jurassic blueschist metamorphic rocks
found as pebbles (exotics) in the Albian flysch in the
Pieniny Basin indicate the existence of a subduction
below the northern margin of the Inner Carpathian
plate (Fayrad, 1997).
The following stage (ValanginianAptian) discerned
the continuous spreading of the basin and regional
subsidence. Sedimentation of black shales embraced almost the whole Outer Carpathian basin with local submarine clastic fans. Clastic material was derived or
from the outer margin of the basin or from the uplifted
remnants of the North European platform in the basin.
Before the Albian, the Magura basin was separated from
the Silesian basin by the Silesian submerged ridge
(latest Jurassicearliest Cretaceous). Basalt rocks started
to intrude in the Eastern Carpathians (Kamiennyi Potik

251

Black Flysch; see Sandulescu, 1975), and diabase, teschenites, and syenites started to intrude in the Western Carpathians (Ksiazkiewicz, 1977). In the latter area, it lasted
up to the Aptian (Lucinska-Anczkiewicz et al., 2002).
The next stage (Aptian Albian) is characterized in
the Eastern Carpathians by compressional movements
that caused folding and overthrusting in the Marmarosh area during the Aptian and development of huge
olistolithes in Marmarosh Klippen zone. The existence
of Late Jurassic metamorphosed limestones also suggests periods of metamorphism during that time. It is
still not certain whether the folding processes also
embraced more outer areas (the Cordillera in front of
the Dukla subbasin and Silesian Cordillera). On the
western and more outer subbasins during the Albian,
acceleration of the turbiditic sedimentation occurred.
Only in the Skole Skyba zone was continuation of
black siliceous shales observed. At the beginning of
the Aptian, a ridge between Silesian Subsilesian subbasins and Skole subbasin developed, which gave a
material to gaize sandstones in the Subsilesian area.
South-dipping subduction was active on the southern margin of the Magura basin. Consumption of the
Penninic Pieniny Ocean led to the development of
accretionary prism in front of the moving plates. In the
Albian, synorogenic flysch developed in the Magura
basin (Golonka and Sikora, 1981).
The following period lasted during the Cenomanian Turonian. It was characterized by subsidence of
all the subbasins, cessation of clastic sedimentation,
slow and uniform sedimentation, and well-oxygenated
conditions. It marked the beginning of a period of intensified, well-oxygenated, deep-water circulation in Tethyan and Proto-Atlantic Oceans (Slaczka and Kaminski,
1998). This period was characterized by very low rates
of sedimentation (0.55 m/m.y.; 1.616 ft/m.y.; Poprawa
et al., 2002). At the turn of the Cenomanian, radiolarian
shales followed by red clays with intercalations of basinal turbidites were deposited below the CCD (Oszczypko, 1999). The oxic conditions prevailed, and the
appearance of the red and green shales like the
Malinowa Formation in the Magura basin (Birkenmajer and Oszczypko, 1989) is characteristic. In the northern and middle part of the Magura basin, this type of
sedimentation persisted up to the Campanian, whereas in the Krynica zone, this type of sedimentation persisted up to the Maastrichtian (Oszczypko, 2001). The
rate of sedimentation of variegated shales oscillated
between 15 and 25 m/m.y. (49 and 82 ft/m.y.). In the
northern part of the Outer Carpathian, in the Skole
Skyba subbasin, this type of sedimentation terminated
during the Turonian (Kotlarczyk, 1985).
The Late Cretaceous early Miocene period is characterized by compressional movements, appearance of

252

SLACZKA ET AL.

intensive turbiditic sedimentation, and increased rate


of subsidence in the basins. Late Cretaceous Laramian
tectonic movements, very intensive in the Inner Carpathians, resulted in the enlivening of intrabasinal
source areas and in the creation of several sedimentary subbasins, each with specific deep-water clastic sedimentation. The uplift of the southern margin of the North
European platform resulted in a tectonic inversion, a
general regression of the sea, and erosion. The eroded
material supplied the Skole subbasin, and the first
appearance of intensive clastic sedimentation during
the Turonian occurred in this outermost subbasin.
In the more southern subbasin, the Silesian subbasin, clastic sedimentation appeared on the Turonian
Coniacian boundary in its western part. The clastic
material was delivered from the Silesian ridge (Cordillera) and rejuvenated along a system of longitudinal faults, and several clastic submarine fans or faulted
submarine slope aprons developed, each with a specific heavy-mineral composition (Wieser, 1970). Probably, the Silesian Cordillera was, in reality, a system of
ridges divided by more local basins, some of which
later became the Fore-Magura units. The most coarsegrained sediments were deposited along the southern
deepest part of the Silesian subbasin. Toward the north
and northeast, these deposits were gradually replaced,
at first by variegated shales, and eventually by variegated marls that deposited on a slope of the Subsilesian ridge. This slope, also known as Subsilesian
basin, was occupied by a pelagic marly sedimentation
from the Coniacian Santonian to Paleocene. Sedimentation of variegated marls also occurred on the southern slope of the Silesian subbasin (Slaczka and Gasinski, 1985) that belonged to the Silesian ridge system,
which separated the Silesian subbasin from more inner
Fore-Magura subbasins. A diachronous migration of
the first appearance of clastic material in the Silesian
subbasin from the west toward the east occurred, near
the Polish Ukrainian border; it started during the
Santonian Maastrichtian, and it was probably connected with the migration of the uplifting of the Silesian Cordillera from the west toward the east. In the
Dukla and Porkulets subbasins, clastic sedimentation
started during the Coniacian from the source areas that
were created along the northeastern margin of the
Dukla subbasin on the prolongation of the Silesian
Cordillera and continued toward the southeast.
During the Maastrichtian Paleocene, a considerable reorganization of the Magura basin occurred.
This was connected both with the compression at the
southern margin of the basin and an inversion of the
northern margin (Silesian uplifted ridge system). It was
accompanied by a deposition of the upper Senonian
Paleocene flysch (the so-called Inoceramian beds).

The rate of sedimentation oscillated between 50 and


75 m/m.y. (160 and 250 ft/m.y.). This clastic sedimentation started in the Magura basin during the
Campanian along its northern margin and during
the Maastrichtian along the southern margin, where
clastic material was delivered generally from the south
(Oszczypko, 1975). At the convergent, southern margin of the Magura basin, subduction of the oceanic
and thinned continental crust beneath the Czorsztyn
ridge occurred during the Maastrichtian and Paleocene, and the Pieniny Klippen Belt was formed. As
a result, the Magura basin became trenchlike in its
character.
The intensive sedimentation from uplifting source
areas lasted generally up to the end of the Paleocene,
except in the Silesian subbasin, where it lasted until
the late Eocene. Such distribution of the first period of
clastic sedimentation implies that, in response to the
tectonic movement in the Inner Carpathians, several
bulges were created in their foreland, earlier in more
distal parts and consequently later and later toward
the inner margin of the Outer Carpathian basin. Since
the Paleocene early Eocene, the accretionary prism
began to develop in the southern margin of the Magura
basin (Oszczypko, 1992, 1999, 2001), close to the fold
and thrust Pieniny Klippen Belt. The moving load in
front of this accretionary prism has caused subsidence
and a progressive northward shift of depocenters. The
early Eocene axis of deposition was located in the
Krynica zone and then, during the middle and late
Eocene, it migrated northward, toward the Bystrica and
Raca zones, respectively. In this part of the basin, a
narrow and very long submarine fan (a few hundred
kilometers) was formed. The clastic immature material
of the fan was supplied from a southeast direction and
was derived from the erosion of the exposed part of the
accretionary prism. During the early to middle Eocene,
the deepest part of the basin, commonly beneath the
CCD, was located in the northern part of the basin. The
rate of sedimentation varied from 10 15 m/m.y. (32
50 ft/m.y.) on the abyssal plain to 75 100 m/m.y.
(246 330 ft/m.y.) in the outer fan and between 200 and
300 m/m.y. (660 and 1000 ft/m.y.) in the area affected
by the middle fan-lobe system (Oszczypko, 2001). Simultaneously, along the northern margin of the basin
(Siary zone), small fans developed. In the Moldavidic
realm during the early and middle Eocene, the intense
tectonic movement ceased, and the remaining Outer
Carpathian subbasins were dominated by a hemipelagic
deposition (green and variegated shales) with an intercalation of thin-bedded turbidites. Only locally within
the southeast part of the Silesian and in Dukla subbasins did sporadically clastic fans develop. Sedimentation in the Magura basin was strongly influenced by

The General Geology of the Outer Carpathians, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine

the development of an accretionary prism along its


inner margin (see also Misik et al., 1991).
In the late Eocene, the southern part of the Magura
basin was affected by tectonic movements (see
Ksiazkiewicz and Lesko, 1959; Oszczypko and Zytko,
1987; Royden and Baldi, 1988; Seifert, 1992) and connected with the continuous subduction of the southern margin of the basin beneath the Pieniny Klippen
Belt (Oszczypko, 1992). At the turn of Eocene, in the
whole Outer Carpathian basin, unification of the sedimentary condition occurred, and green shales and,
later on, Globigerina marls were deposited.
As a result of the late Eocene tectonic movements,
the Carpathian basins were partly isolated from the
Mediterranean area. This was the beginning of the
Early Parathethys formation (Kovac et al., 1993). This
isolation caused the deposition of the black shales that
are rich in organic matter (Menilite shales). This type
of anoxic sedimentation persisted in the Skole basin
until the Oligocene Miocene boundary. The Magura
accretionary wedge was completed before the late
Oligocene. The late Oligocene folding and northward
thrusting in the Magura nappe was almost contemporaneous with that of the Northern Calcareous Alps and
Rhenodanubian flysch. Simultaneously, the southern
part of the Magura nappe was transformed into the piggyback basin flooded during the Aquitanianearly
Burdigalian (Oszczypko et al., 1999b; Oszczypko and
Oszczypko-Clowes, 2002). At this point in time, the front
of the overriding Magura nappe reached the Silesian
ridge, which collapsed as a result of the lithosphere
flexure, and in the southern part of the Silesian subbasin,
in front of the advancing nappe, huge olistolithes were
deposited (Slaczka and Oszczypko, 1987). The Outer
Carpathian flysch basin attained features of a relatively
deep-water foreland basin (Golonka et al., 2000). During
the Oligocene, the main area of subsidence and deposition of the Menilite and Krosno beds were shifted
from the Dukla to the Silesian subbasin (Slaczka, 1969).
In the next stage (early Burdigalian), the axis of deposition was transferred to the Skole; the frontal part of
the SilesianSubsilesian nappes became uplifted, and
the inner part subsided, creating probably locally piggyback basins. Blocks of Weglowka marls slipped into
the Skole subbasin from the uplifted Subsilesian
nappe. In the BoryslavPokuttya residual flysch basin,
the turbiditic deposition was replaced by salt-bearing
molasses deposits (Worotysche Formation). Sedimentation in this basin was probably completed during the
Ottnangian, whereas the whole former flysch basin was
uplifted. According to Veto (1987), the anoxia in the
Carpathian flysch basin was caused by very high
plankton productivity, whereas nutrients necessary
for it were most likely supplied by upwelling.

253

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This work was partly supported by the grant from the
Jagiellonian University and by grants from the Polish
Committee for Scientific Research Komitet Badan
Naukowych grants no. 6 P04D 02022 19 and AGH grant
11.11.140.159. We are indebted to Lucyna Dunczyk,
Elzbieta Machaniec, and Bartlomiej Rogozinski for their
help in preparing the figures. We are grateful to the
referees for their reviews.

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